An engraving by Francisco Goya, “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters,“ was the inspiration for Richard Brouillette’s documentary about neo-liberalism, whose adherents preach the dogmas of deregulation, privatization, a reduced state, and unlimited faith in the self-healing powers of the market. Academics and intellectuals analyze the ways in which an economic theory became an ideology that has ensnared communities around the world in all aspects of life. The film allows these experts to have their say in the truest possible sense: instead of going the route of TV documentaries and employing pie charts, voice-over, and pitiful images of globalization’s victims to create a false sense of being informed, Brouillette aims for sober rigor. He finds a form for this approach in long, black-and-white shots of his interviewees, whose remarks he supplements with text inserts. Encirclement was twelve years in the making. Surely Brouillette’s choice to film his documentary in 16mm – unusual for today’s standards – contributed to the precision that ultimately turns the viewer into a member of a new kind of think tank. The verb “to think” here is fully, electrifyingly justified.
by Richard Brouillette Canada 2008 160’

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