"Subconscious War" is a well-made 28:58 documentary by Quincy Davis released in 2011 that criticizes technology's dehumanization of contemporary life.  --  It begins by showing that the popular video game 'Call of Duty' closely and disturbingly resembles the actual remote killing revealed to the public by WikiLeaks' release of the "Collateral Murder" video.  --  The film then features a 1958 interview with Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) in which the author of Brave New World warned that "endless amounts of distractions and propaganda" would be used in the future to "make people contented with their servitude" by using "unconscious forces below the surface."  --  "Subconscious War" also quotes Neil Postman (1931-2003) as a prophetic figure.  --  Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) predicted that "People will come to love their oppression, to adore the techonologies that undo their capacities to think."  --  An interview with Ethan McCord, who responded to the incident depicted in "Collateral Murder" and was traumatized by it, is juxtaposed with clips from Barack Obama's 2009 Nobel Peace Prize lecture.  --  Noam Chomsky argues, à la Manufacturing Consent (1988), that "what the media are doing is ensuring that we [citizens] do not act on our responsibilities and that the interests of power are served."  --  Poet John Trudell is featured saying that "we have been imprinted with words that neutralize the feeling that is being projected by the thought.  To believe and to think: you can't do both. . . . Our intelligence is the fuel that runs this so-called system. . . . Protect your spirit, because you're in the place where spirits get eaten."  --  Toward the end of the film, clips from degrading videos that have had millions of hits on YouTube are reviewed, the viewer being invited to see them as a form of mental conditioning.  --  Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) also appears near the end of the film.  --  The rolling credits begin: "Thank you / Bradley Manning / Ethan McCord / Julian Assange / WikiLeaks.org . . ." ...



By Quincy Jones

Films for Action
Posted July 28, 2011