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Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media (1993)

Noam Chomsky , Mark Achbar , Mark Achbar , Peter Wintonick  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Noam Chomsky, Mark Achbar, Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Paul Andrews, William F. Buckley
  • Directors: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick
  • Producers: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick, Adam Symansky, Colin Neale, Dennis R. Murphy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y726
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,829 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Noam Chomsky's reflections on the film and its impact
  • Extended excerpts from the 1969 Firing Line debate with pundit William F. Buckley
  • Never-before-seen 1971 discussion with philosopher Michel Foucault
  • Filmmaker bios and production notes

Editorial Reviews

Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, MANUFACTURING CONSENT explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a dynamic collage of biography, archival gems, imaginative graphics and outrageous illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick's award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky's probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news. Available for the first time anywhere on DVD, MANUFACTURING CONSENT features appearances by journalists Bill Moyers and Peter Jennings, pundit William F. Buckley Jr., novelist Tom Wolfe and philosopher Michel Foucault. This Edition features an exclusive ten-years-after video interview with Chomsky.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener October 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Despite the previous reviewer's remarks, not once in this film does Noam Chomsky argue that the media suppreses certain news items at the behest of the goverment. Instead, he argues that the national media, as part of the elite corporate power structure, has certain vested interests in not reporting on potentially embarrasing events where the U.S. government is heavily involved on the wrong side. Places like East Timor in the late 1970s, for example. There is no conspiracy theory here. Chomsky is very clear on that. Rather, it's simply a case of people and corporations in power seeking to maintain their hold on power. That's it. Chomsky is an advocate of full, democratic participation in all aspects of American life, and that's the case he presents in this film. It's a wonderful educational tool. Highly recommended.
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157 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See, Regardless of Your Views May 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the most influential documentaries I've ever seen. It has affected my life in ways I never imagined; like reading Walden or Catcher in the Rye in high school.
It's very difficult to rebuke what Dr. Chomsky says and writes. He backs up his views with miles of objective research (although even he may claim that no source is truly objective). He spoke of East Timor in the 70's. Perhaps you recall sound bites about the atrocities, which finally became "public" in about 1999.
But Manufacturing Consent sticks to media influence; how corporations control the media, and that the media is not free speech since it's owned by corporations. The New York Times will print what is in the interest of The New York Times.
Government will suppress news in its best interest. This is only considered a "fact" if one looks historically. We laugh at the inane propaganda of early newsreels, but is World News Tonight any different? Will it cover mass genocide in other countries without previous consent or some agenda? No. If the US backs the current regime, chances are you won't hear about any problems in, say, some small country near Indonesia, or in Africa.
There's so much to say about Chomsky, but I must end. See this film, even if you hate it. It will make you think. You may just think Chomsky's a paranoid nut, but at least it made you think. And it's harder to question an MIT scholar (who just so happens to also be the most important figure in Linguistics) than, say, a commentator with a degree in Communications.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and entertaining introduction to Noam Chomsky September 7, 2003
Format:DVD
I originally bought this DVD because I read a review that said it's a great place to start if you don't know much about Noam Chomsky and I'd like to reaffirm that with my review. This DVD is a wonderful introduction to Noam Chomsky, his political views, and his theories of media propaganda. You should know that this is not a Noam Chomsky produced film. This is a documentary about Noam Chomsky by people that of course support his views.
Although it says "DVD release date 2002" above, you should realize that this film is kinda old. Some of the cheesy visual and sound effects are laughable, but that's not what's important with this DVD. Another thing that you should know is that this is not the type of film that you want to watch on a romantic evening with your loved one. My girlfriend was bored to tears for all THREE hours of it! Of course I was loving every minute of it. Buy it, make yourself some coffee, and watch it alone.
One more thing: Although this is no substitute for Noam Chomsky's book of the same title, this is also an excellent source of the basic ideas in the book. By the time you finish watching this documentary, you'll be able explain to your friends how the media selectively filters information in the interests of themselves, the government, and the system (not how Noam would say it) before reaching you and the history books.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This film, composed of several visual styles, does a good job of showing many examples of how a mostly-democratic society can be influenced by corporate desires via several forms of media. Newspapers are an obvious focus point for a good part of the film. Does this film contain propaganda itself in it's depiction of propaganda? Of course it does. But this has no bearing on whether the material in it contains a damning amount of fact about big business. One of Noam's powerful means of teaching is to draw reasonable 'event parallels' to show how the media does not really consider objectively informing the public as it's highest motivating cause. This would be an even more amazing film if it were brought up to our current event context. The film was made in 1993, and many of it's educational fruits are more apt today that they were 11 years ago. In summary, this film is a good first look at how it might be possible for the real decision makers of a capitalistic society, as a plurality, to mange societies' opinions and beliefs via selective shaping of the news.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual Self-Defence May 27, 2004
By Cubist
Format:DVD
With the recent media frenzy surrounding Michael Moore's documentary, Fahrenheit 911, it is interesting to observe how the controversy currently swirling around it (Disney backed it financially but won't distribute it) has been documented in the press. It makes a film like Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media all the more relevant more than ten years after its release. Chomsky is a soft-spoken professor at MIT who has become quite a vocal political activist and critic of the American media. He believes that ordinary people can comprehend and act on the issues he raises, but this is not always an easy task because of the thick web of doublespeak that the government creates to blind us from what he calls the "elementary truths" that are right in front of us.
However, people are indoctrinated to be apathetic so that they don't want to make the effort that is needed to see what is really going on. And the media doesn't help either. In fact, one might say that they promote this sense of apathy by showing redundant, repetitive sitcoms and reality shows that turn us into mindless couch potatoes. Now, you might be thinking, this sounds like a lot of conspiracy theory garbage, but Chomsky does not look, act or speak like some crazed conspiracy nut. He is an intelligent man who talks to a BBC reporter the same way he would talk to an ordinary person. Chomsky is a clear and concise speaker who backs up everything he says with an ample supply of facts and unfaltering logic. He is a man dedicated to uncovering the deception and atrocities that are committed by governments all over the world and teaching others how to become aware of and act on these acts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential thinking but repetitious
An eye-opening documentary.
Noam Chomsky's insights are important and worth the time.
The documentary would have been enhanced by a summary of his main points and how... Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Polm
5.0 out of 5 stars Media used to impower people
The guy is brilliant! And he is easy to understand. Just saw "NO", a great movie about an ad man who used ad techniques to overthrow the Pinochet regime in the late 1980s.
Published 4 months ago by dc10fun
5.0 out of 5 stars Corpocracy
well done. a great look into who the U.S. Government actually serves. its not the People nor is it Democracy.
Published 4 months ago by Linux Rulz
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opening
this is both entertaining in its style and eye opening in content. It's a great introduction to Noam Chomsky if you are unfamiliar, and an interesting look at the man and his... Read more
Published 5 months ago by rgr
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously thought Provoking
Noam Chomsky has developed a fairly convincing argument based on a logical set of assumptions. Despite the dated feel, I'd highly recommend this documentary as an introduction to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by 50crowley
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It was very repetitive. It did not explore his positions in any depth. It did, however, stimulate my interest in exploring his writings.
Published 5 months ago by Terence
1.0 out of 5 stars All Over the Place
Even though my political leanings seem to be diametrically opposed to Chomsky's, the movie addresses a topic I think is even more important now than when the documentary was made. Read more
Published 5 months ago by B Hector
5.0 out of 5 stars Anarchism 4ever
Chomsky, probably the greatest mind of the 20th century.

Many years later after its initial release, this documentary feels more up to date than ever.
Published 5 months ago by J. Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need To Watch This
I'm new to Chomsky, although I've heard his works referenced dozens of times over the years. I realized some decades ago that corporate established mainstream media, eg. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. F. Welburn
5.0 out of 5 stars must watch,
A true hero of truth that has been muted for decades. The culture of media is explained and the control it has is laid out in a way Only Chomsky can articulate.
Published 6 months ago by John Levetown
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