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The Century of the Self (2002) - Watch The Most Important Documentary


The Century of the Self is a 2002 British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays. This video combines all four episodes in one video - Happiness Machines, The Engineering of Consent, There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed and Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering. This series is about how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy. The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of consumerism and commodification and their implications. It also questions the modern way people see themselves, the attitudes to fashion, and superficiality. Although we feel we are free, in reality, we—like the politicians—have become the slaves of our own desires.

Using chilling footage and lucid voice over, it traces the methods by which Freud's discoveries about the sub/unconscious mind were systematically implemented by corporate America in the 1920's and later the U.S. government to increase their wealth/power while at the same time giving people the impression of greater personal freedom. It was Bernays who founded the 1st public relations firm and coined the term "engineering consent".

British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis


Directed by Adam Curtis
With Edward Bernays, Martin Bergmann and Ann Bernays.