How Adam Curtis' film "Bitter Lake" will change everything you believe about news


Editing is my bane. I hate doing it, I would prefer to do it as I shoot. Like life. Anyone who can go through a bunch of abandoned footage and put it together so that it becomes something that a person wants to watch has great patience and creative skills.


I love, just love, Curtis’ work. He’s doing some important things in his documentaries, and I wish he had a higher profile here in the states. I look forward to seeing this…


Thank you for this. Just found Bitter Lake on Vimeo:


I still think That’s Life was his finest hour.

Talking dogs, funny shaped vegetables…


The film is very long and slow but very worth sticking with it all the way through.
Maybe over two evenings is easier.
It will haunt you.

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This is a bit personal and rambly, but: I’ve lived in three countries in my life, speak five languages. I’ve struggled a bit with my mental health (but am doing quite well in life right now!) A combination of propensity and contact with various cultures has led me to view world events in disjointed, complicated, endless shades of grey.

It’s odd to watch a trailer, and finally see the way I see the world staring right back at me. It makes me feel understood?


I didn’t know about this, I look forward to checking it out.

will change everything you believe about news

Really? What do I believe about news?


I could not watch troops use those retinal scanners on villagers.

The royal you.

“BITTER LAKE is an epic documentary about the history of the West’s involvement in Afghanistan, mostly assembled from a 26 terabyte archive of unused footage shot for BBC News. Previously sitting on videotapes in cupboards in foreign outposts, it was assiduously collected by a BBC camera operator working in Afghanistan and passed along to Curtis.
Curtis repurposes this footage with editorial techniques that deconstruct and reframe how we shoot, watch, and edit news footage. Large sections are comprised of a wordless, unseen record of an Afghanistan at war that was filmed but never broadcast. And most unusually Curtis lets these moments unspool in time contrary to accepted editing techniques, capturing moments of accidental grace, fumbling mistakes, and raw human behavior.”

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Wow, a new Adam Curtis film; I loved Four Weddings and a Funeral!


Of all the complaints I’ve seen on an online forum, taking offense at the second person plural has got to be the most trivial.


I haven’t been able to take Adam Curtis seriously since watching The Loving Trap

That’s awesome. The bits about how Curtis uses music totally tickle my anti-background-music funny bone.

and how do we watch this, especially if we are not currently in UK?

Years after watching The Mayfair Tea Set, Pandora’s Box, The Century Of Self, The Power Of Nightmares and The Trap, my mind has digested and forgotten most of the data and narrative he threw at me, and with some distance I can now say with certainty this:

While I do not take what Curtis says in his documentaries as gospel, he has consistently made me see history and current events from completely outside the box, or my box at least, and for this I deeply admire the man, I can count filmmakers with this ability with the fingers of one hand. Not to compare the men, but Stanley Kubrick is another one.


The film has been up since release on

I love Adam Curtis and I love Bitter Lake. But this:

“BITTER LAKE is an epic documentary about the history of the West’s involvement in Afghanistan.”

No, no, no. It is about EVERY country that has meddled in Afghanistan, that includes Saudi Arabia and Russia. Anyone who lives in the Middle-East sees every day how much countries here interefere with each other. Can we please stop insinuating that all the world’s problems are souly BECAUSE OF DA WEST!


Me neither. The retinal scanning was infuriating. How is it supposed to be better than Photo ID when these people have to sit there and wait 20 minutes with their eye held open? Why not just use the goddamn DNA testing? But really, what’s the point of using the military for this kind of intelligence? If someone is willing to undergo a retinal scan, that by itself is enough proof to show they aren’t worth your time.

That’s going to be hard. Especially since when you say West I read US and the UK
But I agree in pronciple, the worlds problems are the worlds problems. The point Adam Curtis has tried to make before is that some countries have appointed themselves the leaders of the world. You can’t be a very good leader if you fail and blame somebody else.