The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis. The series consists of three one-hour films, consisting mostly of a montage of archive footage with Curtis’s narration, which were first broadcast in the United Kingdom in late 2004 and have been subsequently aired in multiple countries and shown in several film festivals, including the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Part 1: Baby It’s Cold Outside Part 2: The Phantom Victory Part 3: The Shadows in the Cave
The films compare the rise of the American Neo-Conservative movement and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and noting strong similarities between the two. More controversially, it argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organized force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is in fact a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries and particularly American Neo-Conservatives in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more Utopian ideologies.
The Power of Nightmares has been praised by film critics in both Britain and the United States. Its message and content have also been the subject of various critiques and criticisms from conservatives and progressives.