“Programming the Nation?” Review

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The documentary PROGRAMMING THE NATION? is a feature length film by Jeff Warrick about the history of subliminal messaging in the United States. Reflecting on his own experiences, combined with historical examples of media and professional opinions, Warrick presents a point of view that often makes the viewer question what to believe.

The film begins with audio and visual clips of 9/11, setting up the documentary for reflection of the way the United States government utilizes the media. However, Warrick not only analyzes these factors, but breaks down the myths in American culture on what subliminal messaging actually is. By compiling interviews from professionals in science and media, we see how the general population is misinformed on the topic of subliminal messaging and how (or really, if) it is used in film, advertising, and other forms of mass media.

After watching the film, I feel as if I was left with no ultimate conclusion. The interviews by experts in the film often contradicted each other, resulting in a judgement a viewer must determine on their own. I believe the film should have expanded its analysis to more present day, rather than historical examples from around the 1950s, in order to give the documentary a significant impact.

In technical terms, the film was well made with a rather large budget for an independent, educational documentary. It was funded and produced by Ignite Productions, in association with Digital Media Factory.  9907967-largeA very professionally made film, PROGRAMMING THE NATION? is a documentary of the participatory mode, where the viewer sees the filmmaker, hearing his voice and opinions.

 

The film is distributed privately, and is available for exhibition on the official website http://www.programmingthenation.com/index.html

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