Beat Film Festival presents: “Bitter Lake” by Adam Curtis
136 min, UK, 2015

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design
Bersenevskaya embankment, 14, Moscow

2 June at 22.00 as part of the 3-day Future of the Word Forum, devoted to new perspectives on reading culture, the publishing industry and creative literary process in the UK and Russia.

"Worrying, beautiful, funny (really), ambitious, serious" – The Guardian

This documentary takes on the daunting subject: the troubling history of western relations with Afghanistan over the past 50 years. The film begins with the doomed dam projects of the 1950s that sought to re-make southern Afghanistan in America’s image, then looks at ill-fated Soviet efforts to transform the country, and finally returns to castigate Washington’s second attempt at social and economic engineering. Drawing from the BBC’s rich archive footage, the film is a hypnotic collection of rare snippets from the war-torn country:  a mesmerizing meditation on What Went Wrong in a country torn by war, violence, and in the long run – the attempts to restore peace. 

Adam Curtis

Named ‘TV’s maddest documentary-maker’ by The Guardian, Adam Curtis is an English film director focusing on power in society. Curtis himself says that his works are journalism, but delivered through the medium of film. Among his films are ‘The Century of the Self’, an exploration of how Freudian ideas became a tool for influencing people; ‘The Power of Nightmares’, where Curtis voices an idea which may come as shock for many: the filmmaker states that Al-Qaeda never existed; ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’, an hour-long collage on the American dream set to major US pop hits. He has won three BAFTAs, and has been lauded at the world’s leading documentary film festivals including Canadian Hot Docs and Sheffield International Documentary Festival.