8.2/10
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25 user 7 critic

Bitter Lake (2015)

An experimental documentary that explores Saudi Arabia's relationship with the U.S. and the role this has played in the war in Afghanistan.

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Herself (archive footage)
Hamid Karzai ...
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Mike Martin ...
Himself - Captain - British Army, Helmand 2008-2009 (as Dr. Mike Martin)
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Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react randomly to every new crisis - leaving us bewildered and disorientated. Bitter Lake is a new, adventurous and epic film by Adam Curtis that explains why the big stories that politicians tell us have become so simplified that we can't really see the world any longer. The narrative goes all over the world, America, Britain, Russia and Saudi Arabia - but the country at the heart of it is Afghanistan. Because Afghanistan is the place that has confronted our politicians with the terrible truth - that they cannot understand what is going on any longer. The film reveals the forces that over the past thirty years rose up and undermined the confidence of politics to understand the world. And it shows the strange, dark role that Saudi Arabia has played in this. But Bitter Lake is also experimental. Curtis has taken the unedited rushes of...

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25 January 2015 (UK)  »

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Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake  »

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References Solaris (1972) See more »

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The Lacemaker
by This Mortal Coil
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User Reviews

 
Enlightening, saddening and so human - A must see!
25 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

I gained a real insight into the turmoil, sadness and repeated failures in Afghanistan. The skillful way in which history was blended with real life stories made this more than just a cold documentary. There is a scene when an association attempt is made. The chaotic manner in which the incident happens and the motorcade is unable to plough through the disorganised streets of Kabul brought home how much this country has been ravaged by idiots, sinister barbarians and the American petrodollars.

There are some brilliant touches where Curtis's instructions to interviewees become part of the unfolding story adding to the sense that the lives of ordinary Afghani's is there to be exploited at the beck and call of western overloads who are playing out their own agenda. The world would be so different if the country was aloud to modernise without too much external pressure and importantly, Saudi Arabia was kept in check. These are the key lessons for me. The rest is a dreadful tale of stupidity, arrogance and a willful disregard for humanity.


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