Films on Tobacco

Cigarette Wars

Documentary CNBC Originals 2011 TV-PG 43m. Correspondent Brian Shactman reports on an industry that continues to thrive despite all we know about the dangers of smoking. Cigarette taxes continue to skyrocket in the United States, driving the price up to as much as $14 per pack.

Addiction Incorporated

Documentary 2011 PG-13. This biographical film follows tobacco company scientist Victor DeNoble’s efforts to prove that his employers knew that cigarettes were addictive. As a dedicated whistle-blower, DeNoble tirelessly carries his evidence to the FDA and Congress.

We Love Cigarettes

Documentary BBC Horizon 2011 49 min. A love of nicotine unites all peoples across the globe, regardless of color, wealth or creed. Where religion and politics have failed tobacco has succeeded, but at what cost? For over 50 years people have been knowingly paying for the pleasure of tobacco with their lives, making man’s fatal tryst with the cigarette one of the strangest love affairs ever. But as smoking bans in the US and Europe abound, what is happening in poorer nations? Their love affair is still in its first flush – one third of the world’s cigarettes are smoked in China alone. And globally the tobacco industry is still worth $430 billion and going strong. Intrigued by our planet’s obsession with the cigarette, we decided to capture our love affair with nicotine across the world on one single day.

Link to watch We Love Cigarettes online free

The Tobacco Conspiracy

Documentary 2006 93 min.Tabac, La Conspiration. A history of the tobacco industry’s lies and scams. From the US in 1953 to Africa today, the controversy between individual responsibility and corporate greed is portrayed in a lucid, undaunted manner. From scientific frauds to working with organized crime, tobacco companies show their hidden agenda more clearly than ever in this theatrically released documentary. More than three years of investigating all over the world has allowed Nadia Collot to decipher the attitudes of an industry that, in spite of many prevention campaigns still expands its power at the cost of public health.

Link to watch The Tobacco Conspiracy online free

Tobacco Wars

Documentary Series three one-hour episodes. Tobacco Wars is a comprehensive history of the cigarette, providing an in-depth, balanced, and often shocking look at the tobacco industry. The series’ three one-hour episodes are organized chronologically, from the advent of the cigarette through its ascension to one of the most profitable consumer products the world has ever seen. Via first person accounts and insider documentation, Tobacco Wars vividly portrays what the companies really knew about the link between smoking and disease, explains how mankind became seduced by such a dangerous product, provides a status report on Big Tobacco today, and looks towards the future of this most controversial of industries.

Link to watch Tobacco Wars – Episode 1 – Lighting Up online free

Link to watch Tobacco Wars – Episode 2 – Smokescreen online free

Link to watch Tobacco Wars – Episode 3 – Smoked Out online free

Secrets of the Tobacco Industry

Documentary 41 minutes. A 2-year old, who became a global YouTube sensation in the summer of 2010, has unwittingly become the poster child and symptom of a Big Tobacco-sponsored battle being waged in developing markets. Vanguard correspondent Christof Putzel heads to Indonesia, where he exposes Big Tobacco’s successful and deadly expansion into that country, and observes the stage being set for a David vs. Goliath battle, as a small, underfunded group of concerned advocates battle Big Tobacco and a government drunk on profits and denial.

Link to watch Secrets of the Tobacco Industry online free

Thank You for Smoking

Satire 2005 R 91 minutes. On a mission to make the country forget the dangers of smoking, Big Tobacco spin doctor Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) promotes his product in the movies and hushes those who bad-mouth cigarettes, all the while trying to remain a role model to his young son. Maria Bello, Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall and William H. Macy co-star in Jason Reitman’s razor-sharp satire, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay.

The Last Cigarette

Documentary 1999 NR 82 minutes. Featuring footage of the 1994 congressional hearings on tobacco and health, in which the CEOs of major cigarette makers and industry representatives defend their dangerous and addictive product. These excerpts of the hearings are interspersed with entertaining tobacco-related clips from TV, movies, and commercials that show the startling tactics used by tobacco companies to entice the public to smoke.  See Full Review

The Century of the Self

Documentary series 2002.   Adam Curtis’ acclaimed series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty.  To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? “Century of the Self” tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?  The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history. Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis; Edward Bernays, who invented public relations; Anna Freud, Sigmund’s devoted daughter; and present-day PR guru and Sigmund’s great grandson, Matthew Freud.  Sigmund Freud’s work into the bubbling and murky world of the subconscious changed the world. By introducing a technique to probe the unconscious mind, Freud provided useful tools for understanding the secret desires of the masses. Unwittingly, his work served as the precursor to a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society’s belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man’s ultimate goal.

Episode One: Happiness Machines,  Season 1 Episode 1,  58 min.

The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.  Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticizing the motorcar. His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.  Since propaganda was helpful in wartime, he believed similar mass persuasion could also be used in peacetime for different purposes.  But the Germans in WWI had given the term “propaganda” a bad name, so Bernays came up with an new term for propaganda: “public relations”.  One of his first clients was the tobacco industry, and his first achievement was a campaign that overcame the taboo against women smoking, and persuaded women to smoke cigarettes in public.  He asked one of the new psychoanalysts what cigarettes mean to women, who said that cigarettes are a symbol of the penis and male sexual power, and if he could find a way to connect cigarettes with the idea of challenging male power, then women would smoke, because then they would have their own penis (as unbelievable as that sounds).  So he arranged for debutantes to smoke during the Easter Parade in NYC.  It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world.

Barbarians at the Gate

Docucomedy 1993 R 107 minutes. This seriocomedy based on the RJR-Nabisco leveraged buyout neatly encapsulates the greed that became synonymous with the 1980s. James Garner has never been better as charming, covetous CEO F. Ross Johnson. Johnson grabs for the brass ring when he tries to buy out the conglomerate, only to run up against investment banker Henry Kravis (Jonathan Pryce), who gave him the idea. Includes the failure of R. J. Reynolds’ first smokeless cigarette Premier.

Tobacco on Trial

Documentary Frontline 1986. Life-long smokers who say their health has been destroyed by cigarettes are suing tobacco companies. Frontline correspondent Judy Woodruff takes an inside look at the preparation of these massive lawsuits, concentrating on a suit that would later reach the Supreme Court as well as presenting the emphatic denials of the tobacco industry, which says smoking is a simple question of personal choice and responsibility.

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