'The Dictator's Playbook' [2-DVD]
(2-Disc DVD / PG-13 / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: From Mussolini to Saddam Hussein, dictators have shaped the world we live in. How did they seize and wield power? What forces rose up against them or resisted them in secret? How did they finally come to the bitter end?
This series answers those questions in six immersive hours, each a revealing portrait of brutality and power.
DVD Verdict: 'The Dictator's Playbook', a new six-part series out now as an expansive 2-Disc DVD set from PBS, examines the historical, sociological and psychological foundations of 20th century dictatorships, and provides fresh insight into six brutal men who impacted world history: Kim Il Sung, Saddam Hussein, Benito Mussolini, Manuel Noriega, Francisco Franco and Idi Amin.
“These dictators were all unique in time and place,” says Michael Rosenfeld, vice president for National Programming at Twin Cities Public Television. “But they engaged in tactics that transcended borders and decades, sometimes even learning from one another."
"Each hour in the series is a detailed biography, but we highlight the methods these men used to establish their dictatorships, from purges to propaganda to targeted violence. And we explore the impact on the people who lived under these regimes, who often paid a terrible price.”
Through historical context and analysis, the series explores how these dictators functioned, how they influenced each other, and why they succeeded or failed.
As different as these men were from each other, they followed a series of essential steps, from seizing power to eliminating enemies — an unwritten “dictator’s playbook,” if you will.
"This series takes a deep, historical look at six men whose lives and careers have greatly impacted the 20th century, with far-reaching consequences that are still resonant in conflicts and movements across the globe today,” said Pamela Aguilar, senior director, Programming & Development at PBS. “It is a thoughtful examination of how these rulers gained and kept power, and ultimately, what led to their success or failure.”
While focusing specifically on the individual dictators and their countries, each one-hour episode asks a series of questions that allows viewers to understand the politics and psychology of dictatorships, including: What drove their thirst for domination and control?
Also, How did they seize and wield power? What forces rose up against them or resisted them in secret? How were they seen and accepted by other countries? And How did they finally come to the bitter end? This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.