The following documentaries have been chosen by me as what I consider an essential part of a mandatory educational package for every concerned citizen in the country who hasn't blindly accepted--or capitulated to--the status quo and who hasn't conceded absolute trust in the political leaders, policymakers, and regulatory agencies [enforcement and resources crippled by budget cuts] to make sound judgments on our behalf and to our benefit--damn few of the latter, I'm sure.
A note on YouTube page format, in case you're unfamiliar with it: On the right hand side of the page you'll find a list of related movies or documentaries. Also, the ones below are no doubt available from Amazon.
"Democracy at Work" | "Capitalism Hits the Fan" | "Pricele$$" | "Four Horsemen"
"The War You Don't See" | "Patriocracy" | "Food, Inc." | "The World According to Monsanto" | "Seeds of Death"
"Tapped" | "Last Call at the Oasis" | "Flow: For Love of Water" | "Inside Job" | "The Flaw" | "The One Percent"
"Inequality for All" | "Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?" | "Forward 13: Waking Up the American Dream"
"Call Of Life" |
"A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash"
- Professor Richard D. Wolff
- Professor Richard D. Wolff | "Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism"
A new historical vista is opening before us in this time of change, Wolff writes in this compelling new manifesto for a democratic alternative based on workers directing their own workplaces.
The Republican Party, demonstrating resistance to any worker paradigm shift, representing the interests of the wealthy in maintaining the status quo, deceived, coerced and threatened workers at a VW plant in Tennessee to concede the almost certain prospect of unionization.
- Union Drive Doesn’t Bother Management, but G.O.P. Fumes | February 11, 2014 - New York Times
Volkswagen is eager to have a German-style works council at the Chattanooga plant. The council would bring together managers and white- and blue-collar workers to help set factory policies and foster collaboration. Many labor experts say that to have a works council, employees first need to vote for a labor union to represent them. If the Chattanooga plant establishes a works council, it would be the first factory in the United States to do so.
“Our works councils are key to our success and productivity,” said Frank Fischer, Volkswagen Chattanooga’s chief executive and chairman. “It is a business model that helped to make Volkswagen the second-largest car company in the world. Our plant in Chattanooga has the opportunity to create a uniquely American works council, in which the company would be able to work cooperatively with our employees and ultimately their union representatives, if the employees decide they wish to be represented by a union.”
- Union Defeated in the South | February 17, 2014 - Talking Biz News
- Richard D. Wolff on Curing Capitalism | Video - Bill Moyers & Company
- Peak Oil and Peak Capitalism - Professor Richard D. Wolff | The Oil Drum
- Harvard's Finances: A Tale of Two Countries by Richard Wolff
- "Pricele$$" The Movie Home
PRICELE$$, a new documentary (2012), is a filmmaker’s personal journey across America to answer a burning question: why are some of our government’s most basic policies, like food and energy, so out-of-date . . . and can anything be done about it?
Move to Amend
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.
- Recommended Documentaries
"We suggest the following films as great educational resources on corporate power (many additional films--top 100--are also listed on the website Films for Action)."
Their tag line is: Films For Action Presents: The Top 100 Documentaries
Inspiring the Shift to a Sustainable Paradigm
- Corrosive Influence of Big Money | Occupy Natick
Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. said, “Today, more than ever, it is critical for American citizens to understand the difference between the free-market capitalism that made our country great and the corporate cronyism that is now corrupting our political process, strangling democracy and devouring our national treasures."
- CPI: Center for Public Integrity | Investigative Journalism
A non-profit public interest group based in Washington, D.C.
- The Government By The People Act | February 5, 2014 - Adam Lioz | DEMOS
- Anti-Politics and the 1% | August, 2014 - Truthout
"The electoral-representative institutions of contemporary democracies are arguably little more than instruments in the hands of corporations and of the super-rich, both of whom control electoral-representative structures through lobbying, the financing of electoral campaigns, the "revolving doors" between politics and business, etc."
- Free Speech TV
- Four Horsemen, the debut feature from director Ross Ashcroft, reveals the fundamental flaws in an economic system which has brought our civilization to the brink of disaster. The film pulls no punches in describing the consequences of continued inaction, but its message is one of hope. If more people can equip themselves with a better understanding of how the world really works, then the systems and structures that condemn billions to poverty or chronic insecurity can at last be overturned.
The following doc has received less than stellar reviews. Witness: Film Review by Chris Barsanti on March 1, 2012 | Film Journal International. My review: It could have emphasized the salient points more strongly and the merely anecdotal in nature less so. However, the theme and gist are clear, crystalizing the problem of antagonistic partisanship and divisiveness in American politics, something I don't believe anyone who's been paying attention is unaware of.
- "Patriocracy" - The Movie
PATRIOCRACY explores the extreme polarization in America that cripples the country from tackling its most serious problems. Whether it's the national debt, healthcare reform, the war on terror or illegal immigration, Americans are shouting at each other instead of listening to each other.
- No Labels.org
No Labels is a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving.
For over 14 years, the MoveOn family of organizations have used online tools to lower the barriers to participation in our democracy, so real Americans have a voice in a political process where big money and corporate lobbyists wield too much influence.
- The Ruckus Society
The Ruckus Society provides environmental, human rights, and social justice organizers with the tools, training, and support needed to achieve their goals through the strategic use of creative, nonviolent direct action.
- Public Citizen
Public Citizen advocates for a healthier and more equitable world by making government work for the people and by defending democracy from corporate greed.
- "The World According to Monsanto" | 108 minutes - Top Documentary Films
"There's nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it's strategic. It's more powerful than bombs. It's more powerful than guns.
"This is the best way to control the populations of the world.
"Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market."
- "Seeds of Death" | 80 minutes - Top Documentary Films
Every single independent study conducted on the impact of genetically modified food shows that it damages organs, it causes infertility, it causes immune system failure, it causes holes in the GI tract, and it causes multiple organ system failure.
Global Digest has a sub-section on Monsanto for more information.
"Food, Inc." appears on the televison station PIVOT occasionally.
- "Food, Inc." | 94 minutes - IMDb
Part 1: For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact.
Director Robert Kenner explores the subject from all angles, talking to authors, advocates, farmers, and CEOs, like co-producer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Gary Hirschberg (Stonyfield Farms), and Barbara Kowalcyk, who’s been lobbying for more rigorous standards since E. coli claimed the life of her two-year-old son.
Part 2: The filmmaker takes his camera into slaughterhouses and factory farms where chickens grow too fast to walk properly, cows eat feed pumped with toxic chemicals, and illegal immigrants risk life and limb to bring these products to market at an affordable cost. If eco-docs tends to preach to the converted, Kenner presents his findings in such an engaging fashion that Food, Inc. may well reach the very viewers who could benefit from it the most: harried workers who don’t have the time or income to read every book and eat non-genetically modified produce every day.
- Watch Free Online -- "Flow: For Love of Water" | 93 minutes - Top Documentary Films
"Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel."
- "Inside Job" (2010) | YouTube - 1:44
2010 Oscar Winner for Best Documentary, 'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.
- "The One Percent" | YouTube
This 80-minute documentary focuses on the growing "wealth gap" in America, as seen through the eyes of filmmaker Jamie Johnson, a 27-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune.
- "Inequality for All" | Vimeo
Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; Former Secretary of Labor