The Rise of the All-Consuming Self
Analysis Articles
Bookmark and Share
Africa Speaks Forums Rasta Times US Crusade Trini View Books

The Century of the All-Consuming Self

Happiness Machines

"The Century of the Self" is a United Kingdom documentary film by Adam Curtis first screened on BBC television in 2002 in four parts. It tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Monday 29 April - Thursday 2 May 2002

Adam Curtis' acclaimed series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty.

More :


One of the Greatest Documentaries Ever

This film was produced by the BBC for public television, and therefore the filmmakers were able to use "copyrighted materials" for a much reduced rate. The problem is, that in the event that the film ever gets a formal "release," that is, for profit, a much higher rate would be charged for the same footage. It is for this reason that this documentary may never get a theatrical release in the US, nor a "real" DVD release.

This is an utter shame, for this film is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, and stands, in my opinion, alongside "The Architecture of Doom" as the best ever. It is rich, intriguing, thought provoking, and a powerful example of "film as literature," being as stimulating as a great book. It is also of a genre much under represented in documentaries: a work of critical theory, in this case a sort of Marxist Psychoanalytical approach to history. The movie is one that demands to be watched over and over again, and inspires one to do research outside of the text to discover more; it also encapsulates and maps our psychoscape and history in a radically fascinating way which may suprise many viewers. It gives a whole new perspective on history and where we are today- and does so in novel, subtle, brilliant ways.

Read the full review...

U.S. Crusade | Analysis | Venezuela & Chávez | Homepage