Sigmund Freud’s work has had an immense impact on the lives of people globally, yet many are not aware of this influence. Adam Curtis’ documentary series, ‘The Century of the Self’, elucidates how Freud’s theories on human desire have manifested in areas such as advertising, consumerism and politics. Spanning four hours of riveting footage, this comprehensive exploration is divided into four separate parts.
The first part takes viewers through a discussion of Freud’s life and theories while examining their implications for our culture today. It delves into his concepts of repression and pleasure seeking to illustrate how they shaped the ways in which we understand ourselves. In addition, it also investigates how these ideas are used by marketers to manipulate us into buying products that we don’t need.
The second part studies the rise of public relations in the United States and how it changed the face of modern marketing. By utilizing Freud’s concepts as the framework for their campaigns, PR firms were able to target emotions rather than logic in order to influence consumers. The use of subliminal messaging and other psychological devices continued to be employed by companies all over the world as they sought new ways to sell their goods or services.
The third part follows up with a look at how politicians adopted these same strategies with great success during elections campaigns across America and Britain. Through this lens, we gain insight into why so many citizens seem so easily swayed by rhetoric instead of facts when it comes time to vote for their political representatives. This section also provides unflinching commentary on how such tactics are still used today as well as possible solutions for addressing them head-on.
Lastly, The Century of the Self brings its focus back to psychoanalysis with an exploration into its current state and relevance in society today. Through interviews with various practitioners and experts from different fields, viewers can gain further understanding into why Freud’s ideas continue to hold sway over our lives—even after more than a century since his death.
In all its brilliance, Adam Curtis’ documentary series The Century of the Self leaves no stone unturned when presenting its audience with a thorough examination of Sigmund Freud’s legacy—one that continues to shape our modern world in countless ways we still cannot fully comprehend or appreciate just yet. Thus, if you’re ready for an enlightening journey through history while gaining a deeper understanding about yourself along the way—then this documentary is definitely worth your time!