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Afghanistan Christmas Special: Hound of Hope and Glory

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Adam Curtis | 14:54 UK time, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Blue Peter seems to have had rather an obsession with Afghanistan in the 1970s - not only did they take some Afghan hounds to see the King of Afghanistan when he came to visit the Queen of England, but in Christmas 1976 they found an Afghan hound that could sing. You have to watch the whole thing through to see its version of Land of Hope and Glory. It's wonderful - especially the growl at the end.

By the way the BBC is now allowing me to show most of the video material on this website internationally. Some will still not be viewable for rights reasons (and I'm afraid the It Felt Like a Kiss film is one of them) but the majority should be available by the end of this week.

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And here's another dog, called Bruno, from a BBC News item in the 1970s. I've always wanted to use this somehow but as you can see it's very hard to fit it into any film about how power really works in Britain. It's very odd. I've tried to find out if it's a fake but I don't think it is.

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  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    Yeah fitting Bruno into a video about power in Britain would be difficult. But I am really exited to see BBC letting your videos be viewed internationally because I live in America, so that is always great. I guess now I can read Kabul city. Well thanks again Adam Curtis the content is always great. Today I will hopefully be watching Pandora's Box and The Mayfair Set, these were recommended to me by Juan Neira from a comment on "It felt like a kiss"

  • Comment number 3.

    "By the way the BBC is now allowing me to show most of the video material on this website internationally."

    Thank you BBC...(it's about time)

  • Comment number 4.

    Brilliant lol

    Any future series planned or are you waiting till after the election?

  • Comment number 5.

    That second clip does sound really odd. Maybe it was an April Fools joke? What date was it made?

  • Comment number 6.

    haha. i hope one day they'll eventually throw the bbc archives up on iplayer, i'd imagine you could get lost for months in that stuff. Probably only a couple of yottabytes!

    Happy Christmas Adam=]

  • Comment number 7.

    Mr Curtis, you never fail to delight and amuse. Thank you for your wonderful work.

  • Comment number 8.

    The only videos I can watch are the ones on this post, all others are still "unavailable in my area"....frustration continues...grrr...(I did find a copy of "It felt like a kiss", I thought it was brilliant), as all the rest of your documentaries are...I'll keep checking back...happy holidays

  • Comment number 9.

    Adam... Jai guru de va om.....

  • Comment number 10.

    There are several poor quality copies of your documentaries available in the Internet Public Archive. I'd really like to buy your work. It's so good, it's actually worth giving money for. I don't know why the BBC doesn't sell your films on DVD. If they did, you'd have my money.

    Century of the Self and Power of Nightmares were absolutely brilliant. I really wish there was some way your work could gain access to a wider audience, particularly in the States. I had to pirate your work just so I could view it. I actually WANT TO GIVE YOU MONEY for it. You deserve it!

    I understand the BBC has a huge media archive perfect for your talents. But they're just not distributing your work properly. I don't know what to recommend.

    Except for this: A documentary exploring the similarities between the failure of central economic planning - AKA how the old Soviet Union and China under Mao managed their economies - to the failure of capitalist banks in the west. I would argue that the problem was not the economic model either side used, but instead is due to institutional size leading to bureaucratic ossification and gamesmanship. Basically, the elite ran the old Soviet and Chinese governments into the ground with corruption. The United States and the western economies are collapsing due to ... corruption. And it's as if institutions that scale beyond some threshold value become impossible to manage with checks and balances, thus leaving it open to vast abuses. Then the elite game the institutional system in their favor until it collapses of its own weight.

    This is a story.

  • Comment number 11.

    Is that a factually based story or did you just make that up, maynard? It sounds like a lot of strung together assumptions made with no evidence to hand, which is a shame because one of the nicer things about Curtis' work is that he tends to blow a hole in your ideological assumptions. I very much doubt he will take you up on your offer, and I don't think he needs advice on what he should do. ;)

    What I would like to ask, to Curtis or whoever is listening on here, is what they think of the recent media coverage of the shoe bomber terrorist plot. It seems pertinent to ask that since it directly relates to one of Curtis' documentaries, The Power of Nightmares. Five years after it was screened the coverage of terrorist attacks seems to be largely the same. Is this because the media and political elites still have their heads stuck in the sand, or has new evidence surfaced that supports the claims being made about the Al-Qaeda network?

  • Comment number 12.

    Juan Neira, I once again have to agree with you. Maynard, I'm sure if Mr. Curtis wanted to he could sell his movies but that really isn't the point, I think it would be better if it was open to the public, also, if you really wanted to give him money you could just donate some or send it to him in an envelope if it is that important.

    Sadly, I haven't been following this story much, so I don't really know what happened.

  • Comment number 13.

    Juan Niera, re your comment 11, para 2; if you haven't already done so, could I suggest you watch Adam's short piece on tv news journalism called 'Oh Dearism'. This can be accessed through Youtube and may give you some good information towards the answer you seek...It may well be the answer to your question....

  • Comment number 14.


    I believe that James Baldwin made a similar point during a Curtis interview for The Mayfair Set. As for whether Mr. Curtis is interested in the idea, I'll leave that to him.

  • Comment number 15.

    Excuse me, that would be James Goldsmith. My apologies. -M

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Adam,
    I am trying to get in contact with you and not sure how else to do it. Apologies in advance for the unusual method. I am an Australian documentary filmmaker working on a project that encompasses corporate propaganda and I would love to get my hands on that film footage you used in Century Of The Self from the 1930's that warned people about PR and helped them detect where it was being used (it was a government film). My email address is takioldham@gmail.com - would love to hear from you. Cheers. PS Love your work.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Adam, I have watched some of the Vid's on the site but now it seems that they all do not load. Bugger. Any ideas as to why? Tks. Great stories!


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