HyperNormalisation is a 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis where he explains how, at a time of confusing and inexplicable world events, politicians and the people they represent have retreated into a damaging over-simplified version of what is happening.
HyperNormalisation wades through the culmination of forces that have driven this culture into mass uncertainty, confusion, spectacle, and simulation. Where events keep happening that seem crazy, inexplicable, and out of control, from Donald Trump to Brexit, to the War in Syria, mass immigration, the extreme disparity in wealth, and increasing bomb attacks in the West, this film shows a basis to not only why these chaotic events are happening, but also why we, as well as those in power, may not understand them. We have retreated into a simplified, and often a completely fake version of the world. And because it is reflected all around us, ubiquitous, we accept it as normal. This epic narrative of how we got here spans over 40 years, with an extraordinary cast of characters, the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, early performance artists in New York, President Putin, and Japanese gangsters, suicide bombers, Colonel Gaddafi and the Internet. HyperNormalisation weaves these historical narratives back together to show how today’s fake and hollow world was created and is sustained. This shows that a new kind of resistance must be imagined and actioned, as well as an unprecedented reawakening in a time where it matters like never before.
The term 'HyperNormalisation' is taken from Alexei Yurchak's 2006 book, 'Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation' where Yurchak argues that for many decades everyone had known the Soviet system was failing, but because no one could imagine any alternative, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretense of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and its fakeness was accepted by everyone as real, an effect that Yurchak termed, 'HyperNormalisation'