UK [2007] - 180m
Directed by
Adam Curtis
More info on
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom poster


December 14, 2020


Curtis doing what he loves to do. He takes an essential issue of our modern times, then tracks back to find its political, sociological and ideological origins. Like his other documentaries, I'm not always convinced by the apparent certainty of some of the claims and their connections, but no doubt there are some very interesting tidbits here.

The Trap tries to sketch how our quest for freedom and liberty became a means of oppression and limitation. By reducing people to mathematical models and nudging them to behave certain ways, our actual freedom and choice have been decreasing, while the inequality gap has been growing.

I'm definitely most drawn to the sociological deep dives, which is why the middle part was by far the most interesting for me. Curtis did a great job of showing how setting targets distorts people's goals, as the target itself becomes a goal and people forget what the target is supposed to represent. There were other parts where I had a harder time keeping engaged, but it's no doubt a worthwhile documentary.