because the world needs more lime green.


The Take

I saw The Take a couple days ago (an unrelated sidenote - wow IMDB URLs are ugly). I actually also saw it a few weeks ago, at a film festival at Langara College, but the lady sitting in front of me was craning her neck back and forth to read the subtitles through the person in front of her, and because of her it was difficult for me to read them without duplicating her behaviour which I refused to do - and my Spanish is nonexistent so I missed out on a lot of the commentary.

First off, yes, it's very left wing, anti-globalization, anti-corporation... but expecting a Naomi Klein film to not be like that is akin to expecting a Michael Moore film to praise the Republican government.

The cinematography and the whole composition of the film from an artistic standpoint were absolutely excellent - good music, some of which I believe was actually written for the film because I can't find it online, excellent visuals, it flowed smoothly, etc. I think I've become more aware of things like this in movies because of my interest in photography - I've begun to think like a photographer, and notice when I see something that I think would make a good photograph, and many of the same principles apply to film. It also had excellent personal touches and many moving scenes.

The film was about a movement in Argentina where factory workers are occupying abandoned factories and putting themselves back to work. The factories are then managed by the workers, with profits going to the workers, etc. Your standard idealistic communist scenario that has never been all that successful when imposed by a goverment, but that seems to be working in this case - when it's small-scale and initiated by the workers themselves.

The workers face opposition from the factory owners (remember, these were abandoned factories, not worker takeovers of operating factories), and in some cases, from the government. It did seem like the film left some things out with regards to the government's reaction - one group of workers had their request to occupy the factory refused by a judge, so they had to turn to the legislators as a last resort - who passed their bill almost unanimously. The film didn't explain WHY this happened, which bugged me.

It was an upbeat look at what the people can do, even without corporate or government support. Workers' empowerment. And if the worker occupation strategy could work in Argentina, could it work in North America where factories and other companies are outsourcing and cutting jobs? Maybe, though I imagine there might be more hoops for them to jump through. But the most important factor as to why it isn't happening here is because we're not desperate enough. Klein said that some areas of Argentina had unemployment rates of 60%, which is unheard of in Canada (and, I imagine, the United States).

But another suggestion made by the film is that eventually, because of globalization, increased competitiveness, and the race to the bottom, what happened to Argentina will eventually happen to prosperous North America.

Possible? Yes. Likely? No.


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