The End Of America

The End Of America


Reviewed by: Val Kermode

Based on the book by best selling author Naomi Wolf, this film makes a chilling case that American democracy is under threat, drawing parallels with Nazi Germany and other dictatorships.

In her book of the same name, Wolf claims that there are ten steps to setting up a fascist state, beginning with the creation of an internal and external enemy and advancing to surveillance, secret prisons, the setting up of paramilitary groups etc. She says: “These ten steps are taking place in America now.”

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The film uses footage from Wolf’s lecture tour, adding interviews and archive material to support her argument. It is on fairly strong ground with the events immediately following 9/11. The setting up of the Department of Homeland Security and the traffic light system of terror alerts seem designed to keep the American public in a state of anxiety where new government measures and changes to the law might be pushed through without opposition.

We see the Blackwater paramilitary on the streets of New Orleans after Katrina, where they seem to have been given free rein. There are clips from Guantanamo, interviews with officials denying that America uses torture when there is now clear evidence to the contrary. The images pile up, and Wolf argues her case with passion.

Does all this add up to fascism? Is Wolf right when she says, “There is a blueprint for closing down democracy”? If you like conspiracy theories you will enjoy this. If not, I suggest you may find some of the fascist links tenuous and some of the material irrelevant. But whatever you think, there is plenty here to show that America has problems which are not just going to disappear with the election of a new president.

Reviewed on: 12 Nov 2008
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The End Of America packshot
Naomi Wolf explores political changes in the US.

Director: Annie Sundberg, Ricki Stern

Starring: Naomi Wolf

Year: 2008

Runtime: 80 minutes

Country: US


Doc/Fest 2008

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If you like this, try:

Fahrenheit 9/11
Taking Liberties