Dreaming Under Capitalism
“A political film, in which the microcosm is intended to shed light on the bigger picture...an X-ray of a fairly serious modern-day illness." - Cineuropa
"A film full of empathy, thought, and respect. A therapeutic film for the ones implied and for the witnesses on the other side of the screen." - desistfilm
- Cinéma du Réel
- Vancouver Int. Film Festival
- Human Rights Film Festival (CH)
- DOK.fest Munich
- Int. Women's Film Festival (FR)
- Mar del Plata | *Best Documentary*
This haunting essay film explores the psychological consequences of contemporary work culture to offer a multi-layered meditation on the encompassing regime of global capitalism and its hidden systems of control.
Inspired by Charlotte Beradt’s "The Third Reich of Dreams" and Michel Foucault’s theory of disciplinary societies, this pensive documentary explores the recurring dreams -- or nightmares -- of twelve office workers of different administrative careers in Belgium, and their grasping attempts to decipher meaning from the phenomena. Together, they sketch out a kaleidoscopic overview of a collective unconscious, more or less haunted by the reality of contemporary work culture.
Common themes begin to emerge, including: fear, panic, anxiety, a lack of privacy, a lack of autonomy, and a lack of meaning. Dream images of windows being walled in suggest claustrophobia or a feeling of being trapped. The terror of screaming but not making a sound suggests alienation and a lack of free will. The experiences of dying within the dream, or having brains being eaten with extremely long spoons, may suggest deeper ontological categories at stake. Several of the participants recount Kafkaesque scenarios, full of tin-pot dictators and progressing according to bureaucratic and seemingly arbitrary logic.
Partially recounted in dream-like voice-over accompanied by images of unpopulated office buildings and urban worksites, their various stories illuminate a common, undeniable feeling of dehumanization. Whether their dreams are "just dreams", or the “royal road to the unconscious” as Freud said, the participants all clearly connect them to feelings they have commonly during their waking lives. Ultimately, the recurring patterns of these dreams and feelings point to hidden systems of control in the regime of global capitalism, and some of the insidious ways in which these systems colonize the modern psyche.
63 Minutes | French with English subtitles.
Directed by: Sophie Bruneau
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