Adam Curtis: The Living Dead Part 2: You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough (1995)

replaced video April 9, 2013



Three Films About the Power of the Past was the second major documentary series made by British film-maker Adam Curtis. This series investigated the way that history and memory (both national and individual) have been used by politicians and others. It was transmitted on BBC Two in the spring of 1995.

In this episode, the history of brainwashing and mind control was examined. The angle pursued by Curtis was the way in which psychiatry pursued tabula rasa theories of the mind, initially in order to set people free from traumatic memories and then later as a potential instrument of social control.

The work of Ewen Cameron was surveyed, with particular reference to Cold War theories of communist brainwashing and the search for hypnoprogammed assassins. The programme’s thesis was that the search for control over the past via medical intervention had had to be abandoned and that in modern times control over the past is more effectively exercised by the manipulation of history.


Adam Curtis: The Living Dead Part 1: On the Desperate Edge of Now (1995)

Adam Curtis: The Living Dead Part 3: The Attic (1995)

Psywar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind

The Century Of The Self By Adam Curtis (2002; must-see)