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The Shock Doctrine

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From acclaimed filmmakers Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, The Killer Inside Me) and Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo), and based on Naomi Klein's provocative bestselling book of the same name, The Shock Doctrine is a gripping and incisive deconstruction of how radical free market policies have come to dominate the world.

Using shock therapy as a metaphor, the film investigates Klein s central idea of disaster capitalism. When countries are jolted by catastrophic events such as war or natural disasters, they are often subjected to totally un-regulated free market remedies that benefit corporations at public expense. The film traces the doctrine s beginnings from the theories of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School economists, through its implementation over the past 40 years in Pinochet s Chile, Yeltsin's Russia, Thatcher's Britain, and the American Neo-Con directed invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mat Whitecross & Michael Winterbottom
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KimStim
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nothintosay on November 26, 2010
Format: DVD
An interesting look at the pitfalls of capitalism . A bit more serious than Michael Moore's film , this one focuses on Milton Friedman's philosophy on capitalism and accuses it of being quite insidious . With the tools of war , economic upheaval ,and the overthrow of foreign governments we mold the rest of the world in our image . And the rest of the world is beginning to look a lot like the predatory underhanded nations , the US and Britain in particular , have become .
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DVD Verdict on October 18, 2011
Format: DVD
William Lee, DVD Verdict --Naomi Klein's 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism examines the political and economic history of the last 40 years as a way to explain how democratic nations have strayed from serving the will of the people in favor of enriching the lives of the elite. I haven't read the book but the documentary film The Shock Doctrine works quite well to summarize Klein's thesis and serve as the introduction to the more detailed work. This is clearly and unapologetically a leftist argument so brace yourselves, neoconservatives.

Directors Michael Winterbottom (The Trip) and Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo) combine video from Klein's speaking tour with historical newsreel and archival footage to illustrate the author's arguments. Approximating the structure of the book, the film introduces viewers to the leading economic theory of the latter twentieth century and show how it was applied in the real world. It's a concise and chilling recounting of the U.S. influence upon other countries during and after the Cold War.

Assembled from video camera footage of Klein's speaking engagements and historical newsreels, the picture quality on this DVD ranges in quality from passable to mediocre. A few interviews fair the best but a lot of the archival clips are scratched and blurry. The image doesn't detract from the impact of this filmic essay's content though. The audio is a respectable stereo mix that lets the narration by Kieran O'Brien (9 Songs) and various interviews be heard clearly. The trailer is the only extra on the disc.

-Full review at dvdverdict.com
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Format: DVD
Few things are more incendiary and divisive than covering an item with an overt political nature on Amazon. As opposed to entering into a non-winnable debate on the validity of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine theory which she published in book form in 2007, I will be attempting to review "The Shock Doctrine" documentary adaptation as a film. If you are already vividly opposed to Klein's thesis, nothing in this presentation will alter your opinion in the slightest. And if you are already a fervent believer--once again, nothing here will alter your viewpoint. To comment on the movie, though, you need to look at Klein's hypothesis. Klein's tries to parallel the economic world with shock therapy in the mental health industry (particularly drawing on some nefarious government experimentation). Using traumatic torture techniques can alter and regress a patient's personality. Klein wants to apply the same philosophy to "disaster capitalism" where free market capitalism (specifically policies of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman) was promoted and propagated by diverting the public attention with man-made disasters or exploiting natural ones.

At under 80 minutes, the film discusses these previously mentioned CIA experiments, South American politics in the seventies (with particular attention to the Pinochet coup in Chile), Thatcher's Britain, Reagan's administration, the rise and fall of Gorbachev, post 9/11 policy in America, reactions to catastrophic disasters, the modern economic crisis, and a myriad of other subjects too various to report. Some interesting points are made along the way, but the focus of the film is so single minded and the canvas is so large.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Ryles on September 8, 2011
Format: DVD
I personally learned a few things few things from this Doc., bolstering some of my own research and theories. As a veteran, I have had a long standing interest in the manipulators and the manipulated. It is sad that even in the face of all of the evidence presented here, a large number of sheep will still keep their faith in this broken, corrupt, corroded system run by sociopathic people behind the scenes. Watch this and learn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Larry Gilstrap on September 16, 2012
Format: DVD
This documentary provides an excellent overview of how the American people have been bamboozled by a most insidious form of evil - neo-conservatism. Cloaked in the mantle of laissez faire (Free Market) economic theory, championed by Milton Freidman and his ideological predecessors - Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich (von) Hayek - academic economists were instrumental in providing the excuses needed to implement the most socially devastating economic programs on the planet since the ill begotten reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Ms. Klein points out the U.S.'s (and the Chicago Boys) involvement in setting up Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile in the 1970s and '80s. This was to be a demonstration of the correctness and efficiency of unrestrained capitalism, although the actual results were hardly desirable. Undeterred, this new conservative economic philosophy metastasized in the economic and political policies of the United States and Britain under the malign leadership of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and ultimately in Russia, under a drunk and misguided Boris Yeltsin.

It is in recalling the awful degradation of humanity by these merchants of greed and corruption that I find this film so disturbing, and at times depressing. But Ms. Klein provides some solace and hope at the end of the presentation. She notes how an informed and active populace can (and should) resist the immorality of crisis capitalism. In the past few years, since the DVD was released, I've seen a number of instances in which people appear to be doing exactly that. And ultimately, an truly informed and appropriately active population is a very good thing.
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