Making a Dictator

Watch Making a Dictator

  • 2018
  • 1 Season

Making a Dictator is a documentary series released on the National Geographic Channel in 2018. The show takes an in-depth look at how dictators come to power, stay in power, and ultimately fall from power. The series provides an inside perspective into the minds of dictators and the systems they create to sustain their rule.

Narrated by British actor Tom Hollander, Making a Dictator is split up into four 45-minute episodes that explore different aspects of dictatorial regimes. The series is a combination of interviews with experts and insiders, archival footage, and dramatic reconstructions.

The first episode of the series, entitled "Blood and Iron", examines how dictators use violence and fear to intimidate the masses into submission. This episode profiles several infamous dictators, including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Saddam Hussein, who all employed terror tactics to maintain their grip on power. The episode also explores how the use of torture and executions help maintain control over opposition forces.

The second episode, "Personality Cult", takes a look at how dictators create a personality cult around themselves to solidify their role as the ultimate authority figure. This episode highlights the personality cults of Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Muammar Gaddafi, who all relied heavily on propaganda and myth-making to reinforce their status as leaders. The episode also explores how family dynasties can help to perpetuate dictatorial regimes.

The third episode, "Secret Police", delves into the inner workings of the intelligence agencies that help to keep dictators in power. This episode profiles the notorious East German Stasi, the Romanian Securitate, and the North Korean State Security Department, all of which used informants, torture, and covert operations to suppress dissent. The episode also examines the role of technology in modern-day surveillance and oppression.

The final episode of the series, "Arab Spring", examines how popular uprisings can topple dictatorial regimes. The episode chronicles the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, which led to the downfall of authoritarian leaders who had ruled for over three decades. The episode also explores the role of social media in mobilizing and organizing opposition forces during times of upheaval.

Making a Dictator provides a rare and insightful perspective into the complex and dangerous world of dictatorial regimes. The series offers a unique blend of historical analysis and contemporary relevance, reminding viewers of the enduring threat posed by authoritarian leaders and the systems they create to maintain power. Paired with compelling visuals and engaging storytelling, Making a Dictator is a must-watch for anyone interested in the dynamics of power and politics in the modern world.

Overall, Making a Dictator provides a captivating insight into the psyche of some of history's most notorious leaders. Through a combination of interviews with experts and insiders, archival footage, and dramatization the series explores the mechanisms that enable dictators to rule for decades despite opposition from within and outside their regimes. The series is a perfect watch for history buffs, political enthusiasts, and anyone interested in power dynamics.

Making a Dictator
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Rising Tide
1. Rising Tide
October 24, 2018
The threat of dictatorship to democratic institutions is real and is exemplified by dictators like Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Fidel Castro who find their way to power through similar methods.
  • Premiere Date
    October 24, 2018