The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The
Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC documentary film series,
written and produced by Adam Curtis.
Its three one-hour parts consist mostly
of a montage of archive footage with Curtis's narration. The series
was first broadcast in the United Kingdom in late 2004 and has
subsequently been broadcast in multiple countries and shown in
several film festivals, including the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The films compare the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the
United States and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons
on their origins and claiming similarities between the two.
More controversially, it argues that the
threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organized force of
destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is a myth
perpetrated by politicians in many countries - and particularly
American Neo-Conservatives - in an attempt to unite and inspire
their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian
The Power of Nightmares has been praised by film critics in both
Britain and the United States. Its message and content have also
been the subject of various critiques and criticisms from
conservatives and progressives.
Curtis has also been quoted in such
publications as Liquid Times by Zygmunt Bauman.