15 February 2012: Commanding Heights – The Battles of Ideas

Presented with special thanks to InVision Productions of London & William Cran and with the support of FilmStudyGroup.org.

We are pleased to announce that the next session of the Sydney Film Study Group will feature Episode 1 (first half) of the acclaimed documentary, Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, entitled The Battle of Ideas.

Date: Wednesday, 15 February 2012

When: 6.30pm (doors open). Session: 7.00pm—9.30pm

Where: 19 Whiting Street, Artarmon, Sydney

RSVP is required to David Prichard by email or SMS 0411 527 612.

The evening will follow the Film Study Group format, with a moderated discussion after the documentary screening.

Important Note:  We will be splitting Episode 1 of Commanding Heights into two parts, each approximately one hour in length.  The first half will be screened at our session on 15 February and the second is expected to be screened at the following session.

About the Documentary

A global economy, energised by technological change and unprecedented flows of people and money, collapses in the wake of a terrorist attack … The year is 1914.

Worldwide war results, exhausting the resources of the great powers and convincing many that the economic system itself is to blame. From the ashes of the catastrophe, an intellectual and political struggle ignites between the powers of government and the forces of the marketplace, each determined to reinvent the world’s economic order.

Two individuals emerge whose ideas, shaped by very different experiences, will inform this debate and carry it forward.

One is a brilliant, unconventional Englishman named John Maynard Keynes.

The other is an outspoken émigré from ravaged Austria, Friedrich von Hayek.

But a worldwide depression holds the capitalist nations in its grip. In opposition to both Keynes and Hayek stand not only Hitler’s Third Reich but Stalin’s Soviet Union, schooled in the communist ideologies of Marx and Lenin and bent on obliterating the capitalist system altogether.

For more than half a century the battle of ideas will rage. From the totalitarian socialist systems to the fascist states, from the independent nations of the developing world to the mixed economies of Europe, and the regulated capitalism of the United States, government planning will gradually take over the commanding heights.

But in the 1970s, with Keynesian theory at its height and communism fully entrenched, economic stagnation sets in on all sides. When a British grocer’s daughter and a former Hollywood actor become heads of state, they join forces around the ideas of Hayek, and new political and economic policies begin to transform the world.

Events are open to members and their guests, including guests that the President may sign in at the door. Guests are welcome! The membership fee for calendar 2012 is a nominal $10 to cover the entire calendar year. Members are not required to attend any minimum number of events. Members and their guests may bring their own (strictly non-alcoholic) drinks and noise-free eats. Non-members are welcome to attend as a guest of a member for the first of such attendances. Members will take responsibility for their guests and all participants must treat the venue and other members with courtesy.