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Orwell Rolls in His Grave
Orwell Rolls in His Grave
Actors: Charles Lewis, Robert McChesney, Mark Crispin Miller, Bernie Sanders, Danny Schechter
Director: Robert Kane Pappas
Genres: Documentary
UR     2005     1hr 24min


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Actors: Charles Lewis, Robert McChesney, Mark Crispin Miller, Bernie Sanders, Danny Schechter
Director: Robert Kane Pappas
Creators: J. Alan Hostetter, Robert Kane Pappas
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Politics
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/07/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 24min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 2/27/2009...
WOW!!! The information on this DVD is so well presented, so utterly clear, so well substantiated, that it is simply mind-blowing. How a few massive corporations essentially own and control all the information that is being spoon-fed to an unsuspecting public is truly an Orwellian nightmare come true. Every person who fancies him/herself knowledgeable in the ways of US and international politics should see this documentary. It is a real eye-opener!

Extremely well presented. The time just flew by while we watched this. Recommend it very, very highly!!!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

"How can I get one of these vegged-out populations?"
anomie | 06/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The chilling documentary film "Orwell Rolls in His Grave" examines the relationship between the media, corporate America, and government. In a country where the "top 1% control 90% of the wealth", the film argues that the media system is nothing but a "subsidiary of corporate America." It's a stunning fact that the media received 1 billion dollars in campaign ads for the last election. Large corporations own the television networks, and the sheer number of stations/channels available gives the public the "illusion of choice." Yes, there are tons of channels to chose from, but this "ostensible diversity conceals an actual uniformity."

"Orwell Rolls in his Grave" gives the big picture of the media system in America and asks why some important stories are not covered by the mainstream news and remain invisible. Other stories appear and sink rapidly--while some stories are repeated over and over. Using references to George Orwell's masterpiece "1984" the filmmakers establish the idea that "1984" isn't just fiction any more. The premise of Orwell's novel is that language is redesigned and history rewritten to control people's thoughts. According to the filmmakers, the American media system at best--filters the news to the populace, and at worst--is the mouthpiece of its corporate and political masters.

This information packed film examines the ties between media, corporations and the government using facts and figures--as well as a number of news stories. The film focuses on media coverage of the 2000 election, and the juicy detail of the purging of Florida voter rolls. According to the filmmakers, when journalist Greg Palast broke the story for the BBC, major American networks declined to explore the story further as Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, and naturally the focal point of any investigation into Florida voting, debunked the story. The filmmakers point out the outrageousness of the squashing of a story simply because the person being investigated says it's not true. This section of the film also gives details regarding the Supreme Court Justices who voted to terminate the Florida recount. It's interesting to see who voted against the recount, and that two children of these justices then got positions in the Bush administration. Is a quid pro quo system at work behind the scenes--are deals made, jobs given, contracts awarded to 'friends' of the administration? Well watch the film and decide for yourself.

The film includes interviews with a number of experts on media--including Charles Lewis, the director of the Centre for Public Integrity. Lewis has an engaging candor that is refreshing and genuine. Michael Moore appears in a few brief clips from a speech he gave, and there's also some clips from George Bush. Witty and entertaining Vermont congressman, Bernie Sanders weighs in, and there are also interviews with Danny Schecter, director of "Weapons of Mass Deception", and legal expert Vincent Bugliosi. The film winds up with information on the FCC (Michael Powell, son of Colin Powell is head of the FCC), lobbyists, corporate watchdogs and regulators. For a behind-the-scenes look at the structure of the American media system, I recommend "Orwell Rolls in His Grave." The information here is at once enlightening, chilling and downright depressing--displacedhuman"
The Illusion of Choice
Hand of Doom | The Wonderful World of Colonized Minds | 06/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality...and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening."

This quote from Orwell's "1984" is used in the opening sequence of this film, and sums up America's media structure frighteningly well. Media shapes and alters human consciousness, collectively, it shapes and effects the collective reality.
This film serves as a WARNING: the U.S. media is an ANTI-democratic force, a weapon of "doublespeak,", a subsidiary of corporate America which shapes and determines the legality, constitutionality, and 'facts' of democratically newsworthy events and issues from official, inside sources, instead of(and quite OPPOSED TO, in fact) true journalism, or even any vague sense of it. Specific, essential words/language are not used, not permitted, within our media, in order to reduce cognition. In America, truth is staged and 'managed' to that extent, the pattern with which stories and events are covered, dropped, spun or omitted, is strategically deceptive.

When you consider just how many people either don't understand that, or flat out don't care, or actually believe that we have a free, 'liberal' media....the mind boggles, yet you can't help but marvel at it's efficacy.

As Mark Crispin Miller makes the illustration with a quote from Nazi Joseph Goebbels: "What you want in a media system is ostensible diversity that conceals an actual uniformity."

This doc, previously only available at Buzzflash, examines the consolidation of media(which=consolidation of voice=consolidation of 'one truth')and why certain stories are obviously NOT covered in our "free" press: the illegal behind the scenes actions of, and overall unconstitutionality of, the 2000 (S)election, Bush's SEC violations of insider trading, the WMD's: WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION used by our media to get a supposedly democratic nation behind a totalitarian invasion/occupation, the Telecommunications Act, and even delves into the Reagan/Bush years, examining October Surprise(watch "Cover Up: Iran/Contra") their 'Orwellian' use of the term, "de-regulation," again, anti-democratic policies, and the killing of the Fairness Doctrine, which meant that media outlets no longer had to air opposing viewpoints.
This results in less knowledge, less facts, one widely accepted (un)reality, and reveals how the fascist right wing has been on the march for decades, infiltrating *every* aspect of the corporate culture. It's overt and underlying effects of how it's dumbed down collective reality and worked to induce frighteningly large percentages of our populace into chauvinsitic, hate-filled 'super patriotism,' greed, apathy, unconscionability, often through brainwashed fervor and manipulated ignorance(dumb as a stump & fightin' mad to prove it!)can be seen literally everywhere these days.

Imagine 1% of the population effectively conning and convincing the other 99% to support their wants and desires, and those wants and desires are grounded in greed, debasement and mass murder: the media, once a means of keeping power in check, is now the very tool to con and convince the 99% that greed, debasement and mass murder aren't 'really' bad, for such values are generally promoted and exhaulted within the corporate culture...and likewise(to further confuse and control)to convince the 99% that the obvious greed, debasement and mass murder *aren't really so.* This form of indoctrination has gone a long way in creating this widely adhered to perception of a 'reality' which simply doesn not exist: it's a euphemistic unreality.
Naturally, when you try to show evidence of this to people, there is a strong reluctance, a deep seated inability to be capable of understanding it, because the unreality has been accepted by so many, for so long.
Go back to the quote from Orwell: "They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality."

Accept Flagrant VIOLATIONS of REALITY.

If you care about and lament the death of democracy ~ and you either care or you don't ~ and are troubled over what terminal, pitch-black ending this could lead us to, please watch this obelisk of a documentary. The presentation is dead on, the sources reliable and seasoned. Those interviewed are plain speaking communicators who resist the 'kids gloves' approach/denial to the fascist, perilous dilemma which menaces our fragile democracy, and inevitably, civilization, and the fate of our species.
Also watch "Manufacturing Consent," "The Corporation," "The World According To Bush," and "Control Room," (about Al Jazeera's television news coverage of the Iraq invasion)and lastly, I'd recommended the brilliant and overlooked Tim Robbins mockumentary, "Bob Roberts," which chronicles the rise of a fascist, right wing, messianic senator."
Double Read, Double Good
!Edwin C. Pauzer | New York City | 08/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a powerful and convincing documentary that claims the media is not reporting the news so much as it is reporting what media moguls say is the news. Pappas also draws a parallel between today and what happened in George Orwell's 1950 classic, "1984." Only this time it is conservative forces, not Stalinists, controlling the message. There are several examples to support the producer's assertion.

In the presidential race of 2000 Al Gore was a called a liar many times during the campaign for things he did not say, but were attributed to him. On the other hand, Mr. Bush lied several times, but was never challenged on some real whoppers. For example, Bush claimed that as Governor of Texas, the state now had the finest health care program in the country. (He left out that he vetoed the bill twice, and left it on his desk unsigned.)

The investigative journalist, Gregory Pallast found a list of ninety some thousand people who were listed as felons in Florida where it is illegal for them to vote. Only most of them were not felons, but were African American (who usually voted democrat.) Over 57,000 people were denied their constitutional right. Compared to white counties, the list was almost nill. Pallast, who is also an economist, claimed this would be a statistical impossibility. But then, Florida's secretary of state was Katherine Harris, who was also working for the Bush campaign. (Conflict of interest here?) Pallast offered the story to CBS who did not run it because, they said, they had checked with the governor's office and Katherine Harris, who claimed it wasn't true. A story of this magnitude got very little press--in the US.

There are perhaps five or six conglomerates that now control what Americans will see or hear as news compared to the hundreds of large and small news varieties that readers could choose from even twenty years ago. The message according to Pappas reflects the political views of the moguls, moguls such as Rupert Murdoch, right-wing advocate. This monopoly was allowed to occur when Ronald Reagan repealed several regulations that guaranteed "fair and balanced" (Whoops, sorry!). A price we are paying for more and more each day.

Pappas asserts that without a free press. or a press that is not allowed to pursue real news, Americans are losing more freedom on a daily basis and are under an illusion that they live in a democracy. Add to this average American disinterest in how their government operates and how the press manipulates them. As the Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebels said, "Repeat a lie often enough, and people will take it as fact."

If you wish to delve deeper into these topics, I urge you to read, "Armed Madhouse..." and "The Best Democracy Money can Buy," "Lapdogs" by Boehlert, "Fraud... by Waldman, "Moyers on America" and Helen Thomas'latest book about the White House Press Corps.

This story presents facts. It is a good starting point for anyone developing an interest in our press and its politics. Anyone who may claim that this work is bogus, has to be in denial. And there's plenty of that going around these days.

This story is so bad, it's double good. Get it? Get it!"