Director(s): Adam Curtis
Fest Year: 2017
In Person: Skype with dir. Adam Curtis
Adam Curtis’ phantasmagoric feats of montage have been bending minds for decades, but never before has he made a film as timely — or as terrifyingly entertaining — as this transcendently menacing essay-poem. Released in the U.K. weeks before Donald Trump was elected, HyperNormalisation unearths improbable connections between the despotic manipulators in post-Soviet Russia, the transformation of Bay Area hippies into Tech Bro utopianists, and the steady turning inward of the Western bourgeoisie. As sprawling as it is plausible, Curtis’ film endeavors to explain how we got here, with the world turned upside down and the stability of knowledge itself called into question. He pulls back the veneer of “proper” political debate, linking Jane Fonda workout tapes to Trump’s fake news and revealing that, in the 21st century, we are all indeed connected — but not in the ways that we think. (DN) The runtime includes a 20-minute intermission.