Jon?’s review published on Letterboxd:
“It told no stories of the past, and had no vision for the future.”
the common theme amongst each episode: everyday people whose lives are decimated and dictated by forces greater than they could imagine. it seems virtually impossible to change the world, as one is essentially a victim from the moment they’re born into it.
individualism leading to the fracture and widespread regression of humanity. a combination of people being doomed to repeat the same mistakes, along with being manipulated by those in charge. though, thankfully, the documentary doesn’t spare everyday people either (see: the hilarious title for Part Four).
nations refusing to learn from their mistakes. a general populace so confused and helpless to put up much of a resistance against it.
I could go on and on about the technology section in the last part alone. machines being programmed to such an extent that they are easily manipulating and influencing the human mind?
I was a teenager when the internet was really taking hold over everyday life. my generation, in many ways, feels like the guinea pigs for this tech omnipresence. yet I still (albeit barely) do recall a time before all this. what of the generation(s) after mine? who were born into a warped world, and know no other time?
this is, of course, a window into the world as it is today. but by investigating the numerous people, events, issues that occurred throughout history to get us to this moment shows itself to be a window into the past few hundred years of human behaviour and consciousness.
no one is safe from critique because everyone’s complicit.
and yet, even through all that, Curtis leaves the slightest bit of hope and optimism in the end. perhaps, unrealistically so. but with this, he makes a vast, earnest attempt at trying to understand it all. that is a noble feat.
what a complex statement of a film. captivates for virtually every one of its 480 minutes.