The Production of the World is an all-archival, nonfiction film about the radical art critic John Berger, the covert role of the CIA in the arts during “cultural Cold War,” and the ways culture becomes a battleground for politics. The film creatively uses archival material to explore two interrelated stories side by side: first, the rise and influence of the socialist writer John Berger and the impact of his criticism on the British art scene from 1952 to 1968; and second, a chronicle of the “cultural Cold War,” as geopolitical battles between Western capitalism and Eastern communism played out through the visual culture and art world dramas of the post-war period. If the digital age has made artists and critics of all of us, then we are all also now foot soldiers in the new culture wars. Using visual records, Cold War dramas, and Berger’s own prolific media appearances, The Production of the World offers an ambitious and original investigation into art, power, and the tumultuous battlefields of culture.
Brett Story is an award-winning filmmaker and writer based out of Toronto. Her films have screened in theatres and festivals widely, including at CPH-DOX, SXSW, True/False, Hot Docs and Sheffield Doc Fest. She is the director of the critically acclaimed feature documentaries The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) and The Hottest August(2019), and author of the book Prison Land. Brett has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Sundance Documentary Institute and in 2019 she was named one of Variety’s 10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch.