Requiem for the American Dream (2015) Poster

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The downfall of America as described by a world renowned philosopher
rocks-672646 May 2016
Forget the bad review found here from the person from London. This is the real reason for the downfall of America and it has everything to do with the moneyed class wresting control of our government from the hands of the average citizen. Noam Chomsky is a world renowned American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist who details the collapse of a once great country step by step. He makes it easy to understand and provides very specific examples of his elucidation of the hijacking of our economy and country. I find the perspective of a professor emeritus at MIT much more edifying than the simple minded who dismiss him as an extreme leftist.
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Relevant in this Election
bobzmcishl10 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Somehow, conservatives have awoke from their slumber and become aware that we have severe economic problems in this country and the American middle class has seen their economic power erode while the "masters of the universe" just become richer and richer and exert more power and money to ensure that legislation is written that will continue to benefit the 1%. Donald Trump acknowledges this in his stump speeches while Bernie Sanders has made it a cornerstone of his campaign. Clinton tries to avoid the subject lest her opponents bring up Goldman Sach's yet again. Choamsky puts the intellectual underpinnings on why the American Dream is fast becoming a nightmare. His ten principles are pretty easy to understand as he invokes the Founding Fathers and Adam Smith to buttress his intellectual arguments that income inequality in the U.S. is not only a problem but a huge problem that not only affects us in the pocketbook but undermines our democratic processes that have stood us so well over the last 200+ years. We have a professional class in the U.S. that has become immune to the globalization issues facing blue collar workers and both political parties have turned a blind eye to helping American's who have borne the brunt of trade policies that benefit corporate America at the expense of working people. Also the constant drumbeat of the elites against labor unions in our country, an organizing group that once had immense power to protect American wages. In the new "sharing" economy there are vicious fights to keep the sharing workforce from unionizing. Also massive attacks mounted against public sector workers including teachers because they belong to a union. These attacks are not random events but carefully orchestrated events with an end in mind: the continued growth of the 1% that even Adam Smith warned us about. The big fear among the enormously wealthy is that the majority of American's will get too much democracy and start pushing for rights that have long been denied them. They rely on law enforcement and even the military if necessary to protect their property rights and right to govern or manipulate the legislators who supposedly represent their constituents but in reality only represent the interests of the !%. Chomsky lays this all out in his documentary. You may not agree with everything he lays out, but he makes an awful lot of common sense. Many American's are finally waking up to this reality. Watch this documentary and it will provide a good insight into how this country arrived at this economic state.
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A Must See for anyone interested in why the US is having so many problems
pipstraw275 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I agree with another reviewer who said that if you've followed Noam over the years, you won't be learning anything new. That's true, I've heard most of these topics being discussed in previous books and talks that he has given but, having the focus of the entire movie on one topic was a treat and personally, I feel much better informed for having seen the movie. Also, Since Noam has so much information it's nice to have it edited so all the information is concise.

People love or hate Noam Chomsky, I fall in the love category. I just feel that whenever I hear him speak he is saying what I sense but I am unable to put into words. I've worked hard all my life but, never manage to get much accomplished so, his words are kinda soothing to my soul.

I just got finished watching it and already I am planning on when I can watch it again. I'm sure I missed a few points. I just love intelligent people and Noam is one of the best.
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Tragic and truthful.
supervillanova25 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Chomsky finds the roots of the Requiem in how the United States was originally set up. The U.S. Constitution put power in the hands of the wealthy. The Constitution was written to prevent, not promote, democracy. Concentrations of wealth resulted in concentrations of political power. The course of our history has been defined by the struggles of this wealth and political power against upsurges in democratization, most notably in the 1930s labor movement and the 1960s peace, civil rights and women's movements.

Power and wealth fought back against these popular movements by trying to shape ideology and manufacture consent. Elections are engineered. Attempts to regulate the economy are undermined. Solidarity of the American dreamers is attacked. As Chomsky has shown through earlier work ("Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" with Edward S. Herman, 1988) control was extended beyond the use of force into the domain of culture by marketing compliance and marginalizing dissent.

Chomsky himself provides an example of the extent to which dissent is marginalized when he chooses to avoid mentioning by name the great sources of ideas which help us understand how power and wealth function: socialists like Gramsci, Lukacs or even the scholar of the British Museum himself.

Rather than end his dissertation in despair, Chomsky offers elements of hope, if not exactly a well lit path to redemption. Popular movements, efforts to dismantle illegitimate authority, freedom of speech and new forms of political action all offer hope. He cites philosopher John Dewey's admonition that institutions should be under participatory democratic control. What matters, relates Chomsky quoting his friend Historian Howard Zinn, is the countless deeds of unknown people who lay the basis for the events of human history. Ultimately, learning how the world works will greatly aid in changing it."
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Requiem for the American Dream--A Pending Nightmare?
diana-y-paul5 December 2016
This eerily prescient documentary (2015) narrated by Noam Chomsky was in development before the official announcement of Donald Trump's candidacy. Yet, in the "Ten Principles of the Concentration of Wealth and Power" the viewer sees the redesigning of the US economy."Requiem for the American Dream" is indeed sobering. Chomsky, known for his activism during both the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War,bemoans the state of "an uninformed electorate making irrational choices often against their own self-interest." This is a documentary that is a must-see for all of us trying to make sense of the election of Trump. The historical perspective is an eye- opener!
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Excellent Account of What Happened to America
benzir1321 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Noam Chomsky mentions the works of Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman as two examples of renowned economists and Nobel Laureates who agree with his views, but what is different is the way he explains the development of inequality during the last 4 decades from the historical perspective of previous times when inequality was rampant during other times and the forces that drive societies into one direction or another. I don't agree with Chomsky on many issues, but this one he is spot on.

I gave this movie a 9 star rating instead of 10 because the background music was too loud and seriously interfered with the understanding of what Chomsky was saying.

Excellent documentary.
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Excellent Summation of Chomsky Philosophy
bobcolganrac8 November 2017
If you're a Trump supporter, you probably won't watch this. Too bad. It's about YOUR beliefs. Everyone's beliefs.

A great deal of Noam Chomsky's attention over his long career has been about how consciousness is shaped by------as well as shapes---- language. Language consequently becomes power to control Eric Blair pointed out so brilliantly in 1984 with his totalitarian NewSpeak. Language, words, grammar, inflections . . .the stuff of thoughts and ideas.

In this lovely synopsis of his book by the same title the filmmakers managed to encapsulate the leading points one of America's greatest intellectuals makes by paring the content down to ten overarching themes ---all of which point to seizure of power by the most manipulative for their own purposes.

We learn how the money and power are consolidated, controlled by the wealthiest. How free markets aren't free. How the concept of democracy was always feared by the leaders in the US....even though their rhetoric is full of token adoration of it. How minds are controlled-- brainwashed by repetitive messaging. How power, and wealth in the hands of a few renders everything else unstable. How the entire system is imploding because it is no longer sustainable. How the damage to the ecosystem, to societal harmony is ruinous......and what must be done to alter the current flow.

If you haven't seen this short documentary, watch it. Especially if you're one of the people not given to thinking about deeper social causes and effects. You know, Trump supporter types.
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Should be required viewing for every American.
isaacroccoco20 June 2018
Everyone should see this. Confused, concerned, and frustrated by what is happening in America? Watch this and you'll begin to understand.

I would also recommend watching Adam Curtis' excellent documentary "The Century of the Self" as a companion documentary to help understand how we got here.
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Chomsky FTW!
rego-3767018 April 2017
He is a genius and explains our situation with big business, banks and the wealthy that control the politics. His explanation shows how Trump is fooling the ones who voted for him. By reducing taxes for the corporations the Wealthy will get bigger, There will be another stock market crash and the taxpayers will bail them out. Getting rid of the EPA powers, and school funding he will keep the poor in their place. (slaves for the Corporations. The corporation will still be in control with the lobby and no cap on what corporations can give to each party. He goes into detail and backs up his views with video history. It is a must see video.
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An important documentary - but without a real solution.
janlind99923 October 2016
This is a very important documentary with a lot of information - especially for the uninformed about society and what mechanisms there are that's "controlling" us and how we then behave, like puppets.

But what I miss here is discussions about solutions, and that's why I can't give this documentary a 10 out of 10. I would like this documentary to be more educational and have more discussions about alternative solutions - like the "Zeitgeist Moving Forward"-documentary did!

But Requiem for the American Dream is, of course, very much worth seeing! This informative educational documentary should be viewed in schools! Why isn't it?
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instructive and sad. it is definitely an eye opener
danielibiricu7 February 2017
most of people that I know are aware the the rich gain more that politicians are corrupt that bankers only want money for themselves etc.. but we know it because we hear it here and there.

this movie actually shows you how this is all engineered and does it in a way that slowly builds up and makes you even angry to see how much truth is in it.

But I am posting here mainly for one reason, I am neither American nor live in the US but in Spain and I can tell that over here (Europe) we have got exactly the same structure that this movie shows. It is an actual copy but in Europe, that tells that this is not US on their own with their economy and social classes etc... it is Global or at least common to the so-called 1st world.

In Spain and other southern European countries like Italy, Portugal or Greece it is not enough nowadays with having a full time job for not to be poor. Many salaries are around the 1K EUR mark those that earn 1.5K consider themselves somehow with a good salary but that is totally wrong with current earnings people can barely pay the rent, bills,schools, insurances etc...

Today's poor is not a street begger but also someone who does have a full time job but cannot afford a decent live.
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The Final Film of Noam Chomsky? Not Likely...
gavin694210 May 2016
The definitive discourse with Noam Chomsky, widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive, on the defining characteristic of our time - the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few.

This film is being touted as the "final" film of Noam Chomsky. I don't buy that. He's not dead, for one thing. But also, the amount of footage out there is pretty daunting... people could be making films of Chomsky's speeches for years to come.

There isn't all that much here that you won't hear elsewhere if you're familiar with Chomsky's work. It's a standard denouncement of various systems and how Americans interact with their government. For those who aren't fans, it may also be really, really dry. Chomsky packs a lot of information into his words and is not the most exciting speaker. It is more accessible, though, than some of his broader work... unlike his views on foreign policy, he does not dig into decades of obscure history to support his theories.
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Power of Wealth
milad_nazari8 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Noam Chomsky one of the best activists , Philosopher, intellectual professor of our time, a great genius that has had little to no media attention because of his views. He takes no sides but only describes the problems with our time. If you would like to understand the fundamentals of Concentration of Wealth and Power then this is the best documentary to watch. The interviews given by Chomsky are very descriptive with real life references to every point he includes. Anyone who has followed the works of Adam Smith and has read his books will understand many of the points described in this documentary about our financial institutions were described by Adam Smith about the industrial Revolution.

Highly recommended!
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Don't just post Trump memes, watch this documentary and see how capitalism and mass media made him possible
kjc-bln6 March 2017
This documentary is so great! I've actually never written a review on IMDb and normally use it for fictional films but especially the "uninformed" ,how one other user put it before, should definitely watch this. Noam Chomsky is one to listen to! He really puts the finger on the wounds of society and capitalism. Especially in times of Trump and other right forces it is important to not just post memes on Facebook but rather talk about why it happened. And this film perfectly summarizes why people are fed up with society and how people as Trump can get their votes with the cheapest "solutions", get their votes with just finding a guilty one instead of dealing with the unjust economy (& society) of capitalism.
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Consciously Slanted Criticism of Contemporary American Cultures
l_rawjalaurence28 November 2015
Marketed as a definitive statement of Chomsky's view of contemporary America, REQUIEM FOR THE American DREAM offers an eight-part deconstruction of a country where rampant capitalism and unrestricted practices have led to a society even more unequal than it has ever been in its two hundred-plus year history.

Through a series of interviews Chomsky traces this development back to the time when America was established, when the Constitution allowed for the freedom of individuals to practice anything they wished, including unrestrained capitalism. He argues that until the Seventies there were a series of checks and balances in places so as to ensure that all the people were well looked after; but things started to change, as successive presidents decided that the country had gone too far in the direction of freedom in the past decades, and needed to be reined in.

Gains obtained in the Sixties and early Seventies, such as the acquisition of civil rights, women's liberation and a relaxing of sexual mores were followed by a tightening of the political structure, a deliberate manipulation of public opinion by capitalist interests and a concession to the moneymakers to pursue whatever policies they wished. Now it is commonplace for governments to bail them out whenever they over-spend; if they didn't, then the governments would not be elected.

Chomsky paints an overwhelmingly negative picture of contemporary America, while suggesting that the only solution is for individuals to band together and create resistance movements similar to those formulated during the Sixties. Some of his historical claims are just plain bunkum: while middle-class white Americans enjoyed unrivaled prosperity in the Fifties, this was certainly not the case for most African Americans deprived of civil rights. Likewise the troops returning from World War II did have the chance to benefit from a university education, but little was done to alleviate the trauma of the previous six years. Hence America was hardly that edenic world as Chomsky claims - before the capitalists had their way.

Nonetheless, we should understand that this documentary does not pretend to be objective. It is the views of an aging leftist with a passionate concern for his country's future; on those terms REQUIEM FOR THE American DREAM is a compelling watch.
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no tin hat required..
shmity7216 February 2018
To write a review of this movie and be tracked by the nsa, cia, WEF, bilderbergs, i missing someone?

facts: oh yah! 1/10th of one percent have 98 to 99 percent of world usd..and are confused as to how to keep the rabble in line'' lol

so funny. they should make it a comedy. or no, make it a marvel movie consisting of prurient individualism marketed by 98 percent cgi..

now THAT would blow the roof off!

yours truly, shmity

ps i took chomsky's 400 level grammar class at the u of washington in the early 90s ...he aint no dummy.
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Powerful and shocking movie
velvettazz17 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Being an"intellectual" is not a prerequisite to understand what this man says. The actualization of what's happening to America in my lifetime greatly saddens me because we were once a might and great country. I'm not sure how we as a people will defend against this societal disease. I recommend this film be made part of the curriculum in schools if the wealthy don't prevent us. God help us as a nation.

This film presents factual events as they happened and proposes future generations rectify the problems by throwing off apathy surrounding the voters and bring fresh insights to the political scene. Banking deregulation only contributed to the demise of the Middle Class. This country will be at the mercy of the war mongers with deep pockets that need a venue to enrich themselves at the cost of our blood. This is a most painful lesson that must be not be allowed. I strongly recommend this film.
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What are you going to do about it?
Always_Forward15 February 2020
15Feb2020 {7/10stars = B} for Noam's skewed bias and not emphasizing personal responsibility more. Recommend? Yes, Noam makes good points about consumerism, poor governing and business influence in politics.

Noam speaks a lot of truth in this movie. Unfortunately, he also wants us to blame government and corporations for the problems of society. That is not accurate. People should boycott businesses that do things that are not in the best interest of the country they operate in. So ultimately it comes back to the personal responsibility of the people, all of society, to influence the direction of government and business.

Noam talks postively in support of Unions, like Unions and protesting are the answer to society problems. He fails to mention how corrupt Unions can be, no different than any other large corporation or government body. Some Unions are just leeches getting a small piece of everyone's paycheck in the form of "dues." It's not uncommon for Union leaders to only be interested in getting their profits while they pretend to be fighting for the paycheck earning, working members of the Union. In some cases people would be better off financially without a Union.

Unions started as representing employees to have better pay, working conditions etc etc. In most modernized first world countries, if not all, there are plenty of labor and human rights laws in place to protect workers and employees, doing away with the need for unions and their money grabbing schemes.

It's not fair of Noam and society to categorically demonize all of the super rich or all of "the 1%." Some of the super rich did not have inherited wealth or anything given to them. Some of the super rich started out regular working class people who simply had a dream, pursued that dream and it paid off very well for them.

The poor and working classes of society demonizing the super rich is a subliminal message to everyone that is not super rich to not become super rich, aka don't try to become successful and wealthy, or you will be demonized and publicly humiliated too. Like society as a whole telling people to not be successful and wealthy because it is not attainable by everyone. That's why many semi-wealthy and wealthy people have gotten smart about living below their means, living more like an average person in how they dress and what vehicle they drive to not appear wealthy so they won't be demonized.

People that demonize the super rich are like a whiny kid who wants the toy of another but they don't want to do the work to get that toy. So they pout and whine about how unfair society is because they don't have the toy someone else has. This is rooted in greed, materialism and consumerism that Noam talks about.

People only want something because someone else has it. If they get the coveted item it's tossed aside like trash after five minutes and they move onto the next new shiny thing that is popular. This is strongly encouraged by the electronics industry that prods people to replace their smartphone every year or two at the most.

Another thing Noam talks about, the desire of corporations to keep us occupied being consumers. Spending all our time thinking about shopping and spending money so that we won't notice what business and government are getting away with. There is a popular saying that applies to what Noam is saying about keeping people pacified so they won't revolt, "So long as there is football on TV and beer in fridge the people will be happy." This applies to all TV and movies, pacification disguised as entertainment.

Noam makes good points about division and strife being caused in society to turn the population against each other. That way we'll be so busy fighting amongst ourselves we won't notice what government and corporations are getting away with.

One thing Noam only mentions briefly and toward the end is that people in America (and many other countries) have free will. We are not told by government or corporations how to live our lives or what our career paths will be. The lack of personal motivation is what stops most people from starting their own business or getting into a career that will make them wealthy and successful like the people Noam demonizes in this movie.

CONTENT ADVISORY: No profanity. Some scenes of rioting, property destruction and protesting.

{1=F 2=D- 3=D 4=C- 5=C =B- 7=B 8=A- 9=A 10=A+}
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Fear and Catastrophe if your god is money.
theairind19 May 2016
Noam Chomsky preaches doom and gloom over the current (and potential future) of the US economy. Vicious cycles, corporate tyranny, too big to fail, Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, blah blah blah all amount to this movie being just another standard diatribe about how "the rich have all the $$$ money $$$ and the poor are suffering :(

If your god is money, and C-notes make you sweat, this movie can be difficult for you to watch. If you're one of us who realize wealth can be measured in ways that don't require dollar signs, and experienced in a color other than green, you'll find it as entertaining and humorous as I did.
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democracy working
jbmd-243499 May 2016
Movie misses the point. Talks about consequence not cause. As my father would say, "Who told you live is fair?" Democracy is about majority rule. Over 40% of the voting public makes a conscious choice not to vote. Not voting is a choice to support the status quo. We have only ourselves to blame. The American public loves to point to someone else as the problem. Movie should be a real hit. This looks like the typical propaganda to misdirect the public from the true nature and solution of the problem. The public has the right to change any part of the Constitution to make our Republic fairer but again chooses not to act. It has been changed 27 times in the past. We could change it to Supreme court judges to be elected by the people.
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Epic Fail
m205893022 July 2019
When you want to solve problems, you become a President and fix them. If you don't, just become a philosopher and make movies like Chomsky. Just pathetic.
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It's a philosophical mess.
koltci25 March 2019
A self-proclaimed Anarchist supporting FED; a socialist remembering the difference between East and West Germany; critic of modern corporationism suggesting solutions which will even make the situation worst;
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