Sep 28 2009

KPFK Fund Drive Day 14

Feature Stories | Published 28 Sep 2009, 9:39 am | Comments Off on KPFK Fund Drive Day 14 -

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The Living Dead

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President Obama was recently asked by a world leader at the G 20 summit why in the course of the healthcare debate were some Americans depicting him as Hitler. The specter of facism and Nazi ideology conflated with the idea of socialism and hence government-run healthcare is a common thread in the talking points of many right-wing commentators and politicians in the US. But is the connection historically accurate? In fact, World War II Nazi ideology was strikingly characterized by nationalism, rather than socialism. And in fact, it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR, that helped defeat Nazi Germany in World War II. The history of World War II has been distorted so heavily that most Americans today know it only as “The Good War” that helped defeat evil. Today we’ll spend the hour with Adam Curtis, BBC documentarian.

In his documentary series, ‘The Power of Nightmares,’ BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis pondered on the rise of the politics of fear. In the film we are featuring today, ‘The Living Dead,’ he takes on politicians who seek the power of the past. As in other films by Adam Curtis that we have prominently featured in our past fund drives, “The Living Dead,” combines archival footage and informative interviews with the provocative narration of the filmmaker himself. The three-part, three hour series delves into the politics of memory of the post-World War II era of the twentieth century. Episode I, titled “On the Desperate Edge of Now,” examines Germany in the wake of Nazi defeat. The Nuremburg Trials of Nazi war criminals set the stage for the Allies’ grand narrative of the “good war,” though the individual recollections of their soldiers on the horrors of the bloodshed puncture holes in the notion. The second installment of the series “You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough,” explores the C.I.A.’s interest in the neuroscience of memory following the onset of the Cold War. As Curtis illustrates, the agency’s funding of advancements in the cognitive sciences is fueled by the fear that the Soviet KGB had already made similar moves in the interests of social control and programming ideal assassins. The third and final episode titled “The Attic” concludes “The Living Dead,” by analyzing how British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher invoked Winston Churchill in imaging a glorious past to advance her current Conservative policies.

Thank you Gifts:

The Living Dead – DVD – $75
Adam Curtis 4-DVD Pack – $225

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