'Bitter Lake' (2015) written and directed by Adam Curtis.
A chaotic montage of newsreel and archive clips from various sources that combine to form a powerful documentary film explaining why our politicians in the West have failed to understand the Islamic world and have therefore simplified international friction into stories of good v. evil. Whilst centred on Afghanistan it does explore the bigger picture of regional politics (including the involvement of Saudi Arabia) and also global politics and the US banking structure. As the film passes '9-11' we suddenly get a British perspective on our increasingly confused role in Afghanistan with a powerful summary by a British Army Captain who served in Helmand Province. The newsreel and archive clips (bizarrely including 'Carry on up the Khyber' and Blue Peter) are mainly shown in a chronological order and are supported by a good soundtrack and narration by director Adam Curtis. It's all really quite hypnotic but ultimately depressing because you just know we're going to go through it all over again....
Exclusive to BBC iPlayer. 9/10.
I have all the Adam Curtis oeuvre, sadly only obtainable from some queer website in Yankland. (Unless you know different). I got mine from Amazon but that source seems to have dried up now. His older stuff never seems available from the usual sellers of DVDs.
Each of his film and videoclip montages tells a fine story containing some form of socio-political thesis. They sometimes look like documentaries but they always stray into the land of poetic license. Each of his pieces is quite convincing: well argued with often irresistible rhetoric. However, if you look at all of his pieces as whole, it becomes clear that they don't represent any underlying philosophy or political theory. Rather, they're convincing perspectives concerning a singular and particular sort of political phenomenon that was current at the time he made each one.
And all the better for that. Philosophers are to fond of making stuff up, forcing everything into their schema then defending it no matter how daft the historical evidence makes it look. You can watch a Curtis piece from decades ago and still obtain some insight and clarity about the related events of the time. History stories that are more honest than the usual, as found in history books.