The Shock Doctrine is the latest documentary from acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom, co-directed by Mat Whitecross. Based on Naomi Klein’s bestselling book, The Shock Doctrine argues that America’s ‘free market’ policies have come to dominate the world through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.
Both the film and the book argue that governments all over the world exploit natural disasters, economic crises and wars to push through radical free market policies. Klein calls this ‘disaster capitalism’ and in her view, disaster capitalism is as effective as psychiatric shock therapy at wiping our collective memory.
The film concludes that the result is often catastrophic for ordinary people and hugely beneficial to big corporations. The documentary also adds to Klein’s thesis – which was written before the recent market turmoil – and includes an analysis of how the financial world got into its current troubled state.