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By Maria Isabel Alfonso
A young man in a baseball cap with "MIAMI" emblazoned on the front sits on a curb, looking at his phone. Beside him, an older man looks over his shoulder at the screen. Other Cubans sit on the curb or on the steps behind it, staring at their phones and tablets. In Cuba, a scene like this would have once been unthinkable. But since 2015, the government has loosened the rules on Internet access, allowing citizens to go online with their devices (for a fee) at designated WiFi hotspots.
The spread of online access-and people taking advantage of it for activities like blogging about politics and culture-is one of the signs of a renewed interest in bolstering Cuban civil society. But Cuba faces unique challenges in bolstering citizen engagement.
Near the start of RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY, the film offers a definition of its central theme. "Civil society: The aggregate of non-governmental organizations and individuals that manifest the will and interests of citizens." Then, on the screen, the word "non-governmental" is crossed out. It is a striking visual illustration of Cuba's unique situation-one in which the public sector dominates much of society, playing an ambiguous role in civil society institutions.
Since the mid-1990s, Cuba has seen a rise in independent media, and a resurgence of movements fighting against racism, for economic justice and LGBTQI rights, and for greater democracy and citizen participation. In RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY, Cuban academics, journalists and bloggers, and writers and musicians grapple with what it means to encourage healthy public participation and dissent in the context of Cuba: a country under embargo in which foreign-funded dissidents seek to overthrow the government, and at the same time a country in which the Communist Party has placed itself above the State.
In city parks and apartments, on stairwells, in classrooms, and in magazine offices, the people featured in RETHINKING CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY grapple with these questions. Can more competitive elections and greater democracy exist in a one-party State? How can LGBTQI activists successfully influence government policy? How can access to the benefits of economic reforms allowing private business be extended to marginalized populations? Can the government help encourage a healthy, independent media eco-system? And how much of the stifling of civil society can be blamed on the embargo and how much is simply home-grown?
Thoughtful and engaging, the film is conveniently divided into chapters on class and activism, media, Internet and the blogosphere, political opposition, and Cuban civil society across international borders.
DVD (Spanish, With English Subtitles, Color) / 2018 / 37 minutes
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By Simon Brothers, Luke Mistruzzi, Anton Smolski, Mark Preston
The transformative power of the co-operative enterprise model, illustrated with many inspirational examples.
The co-operative movement was built by people who took on the responsibility for their collective well-being in the face of government neglect, economic exclusion and cultural discrimination.
As the modern economy increasingly denies vast sectors of the population basic amenities for decent life, this co-operative spirit is as critical as ever. However, over the years the co-op sector has become insular and poorly understood.
A SILENT TRANSFORMATION sets out to explore the innovative self-help efforts of different communities across the Province of Ontario, Canada. By addressing their needs collectively they are helping to regain the radical vision of co-operation.
In these communities are the seeds of economic democracy, global solidarity, and a new popular movement to transform society!
Will it grow and flourish?
DVD / 2018 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adults) / 70 minutes
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By Cosima Dannoritzer
Forget water, oil and rare minerals - there is a new resource everyone wants: our time. TIME THIEVES reveals how companies monetize our time without our knowledge and how the social networks have, in their own words, become 'the new clockmakers'.
TIME THIEVES is an eye-opening investigation into how our time became a currency; why 'time poverty' is on the rise and how the more we try to save time, the less we have. Who hasn't come across the situation where an airline has us printing our own boarding passes and checking in our own luggage, saving the company a fortune in working hours? Who hasn't spent hours assembling a piece of furniture, or struggled with an automatic cashier? Haven't we all asked ourselves who should be paying whom for doing all the work? Award-winning director Cosima Dannoritzer blends remarkable archival footage and heart-breaking stories with testimonies from leading experts in a documentary that was filmed on location in Japan, USA, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany.
TIME THIEVES investigates how time has become money, how the clock has taken over both our working and personal lives, and how we can take back control over this precious, but finite resource.
DVD (English, French, German, With English Subtitles, Color) / 2018 / 85 minutes
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By Christian Tod
What would you do if your income was taken care of?
Just a few years ago, an unconditional basic income was considered a pipe dream. Today, this utopia is more imaginable than ever before-intense discussions are taking place in all political and scientific camps.
FREE LUNCH SOCIETY provides background information about this idea and searches for explanations, possibilities and experiences regarding its implementation.
Globalization, automation, Donald Trump. The middle class is falling apart. One hears talk about the causes, rather than about solutions. Time for a complete rethinking:
An unconditional basic income means money for everyone - as a human right without service in return! Visionary reform project, neoliberal axe to the roots of the social state or socially romantic left-wing utopia? Depending on the type and scope, a basic income demonstrates very different ideological visions. Which side of the coin one sees depends on one's own idea of humankind: inactivity as sweet poison that seduces people into laziness, or freedom from material pressures as a chance for oneself and for the community. Do we actually need the whip of existential fear to avoid a lazy, depraved life in front of the TV set? Or does gainful employment give our lives meaning and social footing simply because we haven't known anything else for centuries? And because we've never all had the freedom to self-actualise in other ways?
That basic income is a powerful idea is indisputable: land, water and air are gifts of nature. They are different from private property that humans create by their individual effort. However, when we receive wealth from nature, from the commons, then that wealth belongs to all of us equally.
From Alaska's oil fields to the Canadian prairie, from Washington's think tanks to the Namibian steppes, the film takes us on a grand journey and shows us what the driverless car has to do with the ideas of a German billionaire and a Swiss referendum. FREE LUNCH SOCIETY, the first international film in cinemas about basic income, is dedicated to one of the most crucial questions of our times.
DVD (English, German, Color, Closed Captioned, With English Subtitles) / 2017 / 92 minutes
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By Florian Opitz
Politicians, economists and the media are obsessed with economic growth. But why do we still cling to this concept? Clearly it is impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet.
This investigative documentary seeks to educate audiences about the term "growth", particularly in the world of economics. It seems today's society and financial markets are dictated by an ever-present need to grow. This film uncovers what this means and how it has developed through history. It looks at how and why it stopped during the Great Depression and the growing importance it took on in the '70s and '80s. We also see how growth looks in various industries, such as in the world of agriculture, manufacturing and on Wall Street. Capitalism is explored, as well as the ways in which financial markets determine - perhaps more than governments - the functioning of societies and countries. Finally, SYSTEM ERROR looks at the economic crash of 2008, its origins and its effects on the way we view growth. Is there a limit to this growth, especially now that technology is developing?
In SYSTEM ERROR award-winning director Florian Opitz ("Speed, In Search of Lost Time" and "The Big Sellout") examines the fundamentals of capitalism. He reveals unexpected correlations and lays bare the pathological nature of the current system. He also examines the continuing impact of Karl Marx as an analyst of capitalism.
Filmed in Brazil, China, Germany, the U.K and the U.S.A, System Error gives a fresh perspective on the capitalist system and where it is leading us.
DVD (English, German, Portuguese, With English Subtitles, Color) / 2017 / 96 minutes
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By Mathilde Damoisel
Bananas are everywhere: Americans eat nearly 10 billion of them per year, consuming more pounds of bananas than apples and oranges combined.
WHEN BANANA RULED tells the story of the men who made bananas the most ubiquitous fruit in the world, through a multinational empire that dominated production and sales, overthrew governments, and created a business model still largely used by today's tech giants.
The story of bananas as commodities begins with a failed railway project started in Costa Rica in 1871, led by American Minor Cooper Keith. When the Costa Rican government defaulted on its payments to Keith for its construction, the businessman faced ruin. His salvation? Bananas. Keith would go on to co-found the United Fruit Company and within decades-after a concerted campaign led by the father of public relations, Edward Bernays-bananas became a staple of the North American diet. Animated mascot Miss Chiquita Banana was a pop culture icon, doctors recommended bananas as an ideal food for children, and bananas popped up in movies and Broadway musicals.
But, as WHEN BANANA RULED documents, the entire enterprise was built on a rapacious, imperialist business model that required the domination of countries including Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia. United Fruit took over critical national infrastructure like railways and ports, rapidly expanded plantations by displacing small (often Indigenous) farmers, bought itself favorable legislation, and, like today's largest companies, sheltered profits offshore to avoid taxes.
Life on the plantations was a world within a world: A strict hierarchy with white managers from the best business schools, foremen from the US South (recruited for their knowledge of slavery), and black laborers paid largely in company food coupons and strictly forbidden to unionize. When a new, revolutionary government was formed in Guatemala, United Fruit's plantations were nationalized. What happened next came straight from the playbook that would dominate US foreign policy in the region: claim a Communist threat, persuade legislators back home of its dangers, bomb the country, and install a new, pro-American and pro-business regime.
Using a rich trove of archival footage and documents, including letters to and from lobbyists, telegrams, vintage ads and movie clips, and gorgeous, hand-tinted stills, WHEN BANANA RULED is a story of intrigue that touches on economics, international politics, the history of multinational business and reveals how an array of forces conquered the world through a simple fruit.
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2017 / 52 minutes
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Directed by Deborah Kaufman, Alan Snitow
A grassroots movement challenges Citizens United, corporate power, and moguls of the "sharing economy" to stop gentrification and wrest back control of San Francisco's future.
The once free-spirited city of San Francisco is now a "Company Town," a playground for tech moguls of the "sharing economy." Airbnb is the biggest hotel, Uber privatizes transit. And now these companies want political power as well.
Meanwhile, middle class and ethnic communities are driven out by gentrification, skyrocketing rents and evictions, sparking a grassroots backlash. Can an insurgent electoral campaign overcome corporate power and billionaires' megabucks to change a city's course?
COMPANY TOWN shows how a grassroots coalition of unions, tenants, neighborhoods of color, activists and artists can come together to win.
DVD / 2016 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adults) / 77 minutes
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Directed by Steve Alves
The deep history of cooperatives in America -- the country's longest-surviving alternative economic system.
FOOD FOR CHANGE looks at the current resurgence of food cooperatives in America and their unique historic place in the economic and political landscape. Born in the heartland, cooperatives are seen as the middle path between Wall Street and Socialism.
The film profiles several food co-ops that have revived neighborhoods and communities - right in the shadows of corporate agribusinesses and supermarket chains. It's an inspiring example of community-centered economies thriving in an age of globalization.
DVD / 2016 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 82 minutes
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By Ricardo Figueredo Oliva
Seven pounds of rice, five pounds sugar, four ounces coffee, half a pound cooking oil, five eggs, 10 ounces beans, a small bread roll and a pound a half of meat - that's the monthly allotment for Cubans under the country's rationing system.
An independent film financed through crowd-funding and without the financial support of traditional Cuban film institutions, THE SINGULAR STORY OF UNLUCKY JUAN is a comprehensive, accessible examination of the particularities of the Cuban economy. Using a fictional worker called Juan as an example, the film shows how the economy affects the daily lives of ordinary citizens - and how badly it squeezes those who don't have access to hard currency.
Cuba has two currencies: the Cuban Peso and the CUC - a far more valuable currency pegged to international exchange rates. Tourists pay in CUCs and shop at CUC stores, which stock higher quality goods at a huge premium.
Divided into chapters covering rations, the marketplace, CUC stores, private business, corruption, economic migration, and future Cuba, the documentary walks us through how each of these affects Juan and those like him. The film interviews a cross-section of Cuban workers and an economist who favours a more free-market approach, and offers sometimes hypnotic shots evoking economic activity: butchers cutting meat, fruit vendors at markets, shops lined with luxury goods inaccessible to most.
Juan starts the month with 250 Cuban pesos. But once he's paid for his food rations, extra food to meet his needs for the month, transit, utilities, and the new energy-efficient fridge he was obliged to buy (and use 20% of his monthly salary to pay off over a 10-year term), there is little left. No wonder so many Cubans rely on living with relatives, overseas remittances, or getting involved in corruption and the black market.
As bad as things are, Cubans worry about what the future will look like once relations with the United States eventually become normalized. Speaking about the US, they worry the Americans "will swallow us whole" and use words like "crushed" and "assimilated" to describe what may lie ahead. The door has already been slightly opened - with a new foreign economic development zone and relaxed rules allowing some Cubans to own private businesses. But these are no panacea either. Small-business owners report frequent harassment, ticketing for endless infractions, and bureaucratic roadblocks. "I don't own this business," says a tired-looking woman, "I am its slave."
DVD (Spanish, With English Subtitles, Color) / 2016 / 52 minutes
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Directed by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin
Weconomics: Italy reports on the extensive and innovative cooperative economy in the region around Bologna.
The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services.
DVD / 2016 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adult) / 19 minutes
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By Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdeavellano
After the 1973 coup which brought Augusto Pinochet to power, a group of Chilean economists were given the power to turn Chile into a laboratory for the world's most radical neo-liberal experiments.
These men, including Sergio de Castro and Rolf Lüders, both of whom would serve as ministers of finance during the Pinochet years, met in the 1950s at the University of Chicago, where they studied under the famed economist Milton Friedman, and the man who would become their mentor, Arnold Harberger.
CHICAGO BOYS is their story from their student days through the dictatorship, told by the Chicago Boys themselves. Could their program for 'economic freedom,' such a drastic restructuring of the Chilean economy, only have been implemented by an authoritarian regime? What were they willing to do to achieve their goals? And how do they see the long-term results today?
Even though they do eventually acknowledge some of the darker sides of their work, Lüders "couldn't care less about inequality," de Castro feels bad for the torturers, and they all seem completely baffled by those Chileans who have filled the streets, for five years now, in protest against their legacy.
DVD (Color) / 2015 / 85 minutes
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Directed by Tom Boothe
Looks at the workings of a highly profitable supermarket, Brooklyn's Park Slope Food Coop, which for 44 years has been a shining example of a successful alternative economic system at work.
FOOD COOP takes us deep into the belly of the Park Slope Food Coop, one of America's oldest cooperative food supermarkets, with a healthy dose of insight and wit.
Nestled deep in New York City, which, for many, exemplifies both the glory and the horrors of the capitalist spirit, you can find this highly prosperous institution, just as American and certainly more efficient than Wall Street, but whose objective is entirely non-profit. Working against everything that defines "The American Way of Life," the basic principles of the Park Slope Food Coop are simple: each of its 16,000 members work 2.75 hours per month to earn the right to buy the best food in New York at incredibly low prices. This Brooklyn coop founded in 1973 is probably the best implemented socialist experience in the United States.
Through FOOD COOP, you will see this institution come to life and witness how the enthusiasm that animates the Park Slope Food Coop demonstrates a potential for change; how the coop's mode of participation viscerally teaches democracy to those who take part in its activities.
DVD / 2015 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 97 minutes
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In Canada, while the economic recovery has eased for many, the youth unemployment rate remains staggering-double that of the general population. The documentary Generation Jobless explores the crisis of over-educated youths being underemployed, scraping by in low-paid, part-time jobs that do not require a degree just to pay off their debt while struggling to find real jobs. Some call them the lost generation, but it is not only young people who will pay the price.
If this generation is unable to forge a way into the economy, whose taxes will support the social safety net? If young people can't afford to buy homes, will the real estate market come crashing down again?
Youth unemployment and underemployment is a ticking time bomb with consequences for everyone.
DVD / 2015 / 43 minutes
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Capitalism has been the engine of unprecedented economic growth and social transformation. With the fall of the communist states and the triumph of "neo- liberalism," capitalism is by far the world's dominant ideology. But how much do we understand about how it originated, and what makes it work?
CAPITALISM is an ambitious and accessible six-part documentary series that looks at both the history of ideas and the social forces that have shaped the capitalist world.
Blending interviews with some of the world's great historians, economists, anthropologists, and social critics, with on-the-ground footage shot in twenty-two countries, CAPITALISM questions the myth of the unfettered free market, explores the nature of debt and commodities, and retraces some of the great economic debates of the last 200 years.
Each fifty-two minute episode is designed to stand alone, making these ideal for classroom use or as an additional resource for students:
Episode 1: Adam Smith, The Birth of the Free Market
Capitalism is much more complex than the vision Adam Smith laid out in The Wealth of Nations. Indeed, it predates Smith by centuries and took root in the practices of colonialism and the slave trade.
Episode 2: The Wealth of Nations: A New Gospel?
Adam Smith was both economist and moral philosopher. But his work on morality is largely forgotten, leading to tragic distortions that have shaped our global economic system.
Episode 3: Ricardo and Malthus: Did You Say Freedom?
The roots of today's global trade agreements lie in the work of stockbroker David Ricardo and demographer Thomas Malthus. Together, they would restructure society in the image of the market.
Episode 4: What If Marx Was Right?
Have we gotten Marx wrong by focusing on the Communist Manifesto instead of on his critique of how capitalism works - a critique that is relevant and as penetrating as ever?
Episode 5: Keynes vs Hayek: A Fake Debate?
The ideological divide between the philosophies of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek has dominated economics for nearly a century. Is it time for the pendulum to swing back to Keynes? Or do we need a whole new approach that goes beyond this dualism?
Episode 6: Karl Polanyi, The Human Factor
An exploration of the life and work of Karl Polanyi, who sought to reintegrate society and economy. Could the commodification of labour and money ultimately be as disastrous as floods, drought and earthquakes?
CAPITALISM is an impressive series that makes economics accessible through an interdisciplinary approach that explores the work of great thinkers, while embedding economics in specific social, political, and historical contexts. The series can be watched as a whole, but each episode also stands alone.
The series features some of the world's top economists, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists, including Thomas Piketty, Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis, Nicholas Phillipson, Kari Polanyi Levitt, David Graeber, and Abraham Rotstein.
3 DVDs (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2014 / 320 minutes
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By Aaron Matthews
For decades, small town life in the United States has been slowly and quietly eroding. But there are overlooked stories amidst the talk of America's economic decline: the stories of individual men and women in the "Rust Belt" community in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Once one of the country's largest steel manufacturing centers, Lewistown lost its manufacturing base and industrial might a generation ago and has since become a "ghost town." DOWNTOWN DREAM follows the lives of five dynamic men and women living in Lewistown who refuse to be counted out and instead struggle to reinvent their lives and their dreams in America's chilly economic climate.
Over the course of two years, in DOWNTOWN DREAM, viewers witness five dynamic personal journeys that also concretize the struggles of the town itself. Jon, a developer, reflects Lewistown's wistful remembrance of nobler days; Bernard, a pastor and one of 150 African Americans in Lewistown, embodies the town's potential resurrection; Pam, a would-be salon owner, reflects the can-do spirit that may be a remedy for Lewistown's business community; Barb, a recovering addict, and Katie, her daughter and an aspiring actress and singer, personify its potential physical rehabilitation. Lyrical and intimate, the film reveals typical Americans in a typical American place grappling with the question on everybody's lips today: How do you make it in America anymore?
After more than 40 years of decay, Lewistown is now at a crossroads. The town leaders have drawn up a comprehensive redevelopment plan, and it is taking shape. In order to beautify the deserted downtown, streets have been widened, trees have been planted and buildings have been razed. The centerpiece of the plan-spending $250,000 in state funding to install a park in the town's center-is underway.
The situation in Lewistown mirrors the fate of the nation at this critical point in history. How do Americans make sense of economic and political forces beyond their control? Will they make a go of it and if so, how? In DOWNTOWN DREAM, Jon, Bernard, Pam, Barb and Katie reinvent their dreams in the face of devastation and decay.
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2013 / 45 minutes
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Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
A vivid portrait of Detroit, America's first major post-industrial city, as it struggles to deal with the consequences of a broken economic system.
Detroit's story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century...the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos.
With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.
DVD / 2012 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 86 minutes
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Director: Mathieu Roy & Harold Crooks
Technological advancement, economic development, population increase - are they signs of a thriving society? Or too much of a good thing? Based on the best-selling book A Short History of Progress, this provocative documentary explores the concept of progress in our modern world, guiding us through a sweeping but detailed survey of the major "progress traps" facing our civilization in the arenas of technology, economics, consumption, and the environment.
Featuring powerful arguments from such visionaries as Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Hawking, Craig Venter, Robert Wright, Michael Hudson, and Ronald Wright, this enlightening and visually spectacular film invites us to contemplate the progress traps that destroyed past civilizations and that lie treacherously embedded in our own. Leading critics of Wall Street, cognitive psychologists, and ecologists lay bare the consequences of progress-as-usual as the film travels around the world - from a burgeoning China to the disappearing rainforests of Brazil to a chimp research lab in New Iberia, Louisiana - to construct a shocking overview of the way our global economic system is eating away at our planet's resources and shackling entire populations with poverty.
Providing an honest look at the risks and pitfalls of running 21st Century "software" (our accumulated knowledge) on 50,000-year-old "hardware" (our primate brains), Surviving Progress offers a challenge: to prove making apes smarter was not an evolutionary dead end.
DVD-R / 2012 / 86 minutes
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By Jason Barker
MARX RELOADED is a cultural documentary that examines the relevance of German socialist and philosopher Karl Marx's ideas for understanding the global economic and financial crisis.
The recent crisis triggered the deepest global recession in 70 years and prompted the US government to spend more than 1 trillion dollars in order to rescue its banking system from collapse. Today the full implications of the crisis in Europe and around the world still remain unclear. Nevertheless, should we accept the crisis as an unfortunate side-effect of the free market? Or is there another explanation as to why it happened and its likely effects on our society, our economy and our whole way of life?
Today a new generation of philosophers, artists and political activists are returning to Marx's ideas in order to try to make sense of the crisis and to consider whether a world without or beyond capitalism is possible. Is the severity of the ongoing recession a sign that the capitalist system's days are numbered? Ironically, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, could it be that communism might provide the solution to the growing economic and environmental challenges facing the planet?
Written and directed by Jason Barker - himself an experienced writer, lecturer, translator and doctor of philosophy - MARX RELOADED includes interviews with leading thinkers on Marxism, including those at the forefront of a popular revival in Marxist and communist ideas. The film also includes interviews with leading skeptics of this revival as well as light-hearted animation sequences which follow Marx's adventures through the matrix of his own ideas.
Interviews with leading experts include: Norbert Bolz, Micha Brumlik, John Gray, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Nina Power, Jacques Ranciere, Peter Sloterdijk, Alberto Toscano, and Slavoj Zizek.
DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2011 / 52 minutes
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The Rise of Disaster Capitalism features Naomi Klein explaining the ideas and research behind her bestselling book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In this riveting lecture and interview, Klein challenges and exposes the popular myth of the free market economy's peaceful global victory.
Around the world there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos, exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe to brutally implement their policies. They are the shock doctors. From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, this is the chilling tale of how a few are making a killing while more are getting killed.
DVD / 2009 / 77 minutes
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Directed by John de Graaf
Ecological economist Dave Batker questions whether GDP is an adequate measure of society's well-being and suggests workable alternatives.
Fame, ecological economist Dave Batker presents a humorous, edgy, factual, timely and highly-visual monologue about the American economy today, challenging the ways we measure economic success--especially the Gross Domestic Product--and offering an answer to the question: What's the Economy for, Anyway?
Using Gifford Pinchot's idea that the economy's purpose is "the greatest good for the greatest number over the longest run," Batker compares the performance of the U.S. economy with that of other industrial countries in terms of providing a high quality of life, fairness and ecological sustainability, concluding that when you do the numbers, we come out near the bottom in nearly every category.
Batker shines a humorous light on such economic buzzwords as "productivity," and "consumer sovereignty," while offering ideas for "capitalism with a human face," a new economic paradigm that meets the real needs of people and the planet.
DVD / 2009 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 40 minutes
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Everyday we can see things in our lives that show us that we are connected with people all over the world. But exactly how is Australia connected to the other countries in the world, and what are our responsibilities? This program looks at how Australia is connected with the rest of the world in three key areas - trade and travel, communications, and global organisations and agreements. It features interviews with representatives from:
An export firm (Staedtler Pacific)
The United Nations
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
There is also a case study of AusAID.
DVD / 2003 / 21 minutes
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Taught By Professor Michael K. Salemi
From the invention of coins by the ancient Lydians to the 21st-century eurozone, human history tells the story of ingenious financial systems and the never-ending quest for economic solutions. Today, our global economy is both fascinating and dizzyingly complex-challenging even experts to comprehend it fully. But one thing remains clear: Money and finance play a deeply fundamental role in your life.
Money is a social contract that affects the decisions of nations and individuals. Our financial institutions drive our political systems and the growth of nations. And money and banking are indispensable in both your daily financial transactions and your most essential long-term plans. A working knowledge of money and banking systems is critically useful in several ways:
It helps you understand the complex and often bewildering world of finance.
It helps you to "read" the current economic climate, to make sense of what you see in the media, and to gauge where the economy is headed.
It gives you key insights into society and the economic issues in life.
It allows you to comprehend integral aspects of history and the way civilization developed.
Perhaps most important, it helps you to plan your own life and to make key financial decisions for yourself and your family.
Speaking to all of this in Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know, economist and award-winning Professor Michael K. Salemi of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leads you in a panoramic exploration of our monetary and financial systems, their inner workings, and their crucial role and presence in your world. In 36 incisive and detailed lectures, he gives you a penetrating look at the financial institutions that are fundamental to your life and well-being. Beginning with the colorful history of money, including the monetary history of the United States, you investigate pivotal topics, including
the crucial role of public confidence in the stability of our financial system;
how money is created by commercial and central banks;
how "Wall Street" and "Main Street" are inextricably intertwined, each requiring the success of the other;
the dramatic history and causes of hyperinflation;
the uses of "local" currencies and nontraditional monetary systems;
the thorny problem of financial firms that are deemed "too big to fail," and why being named "TBTF" gives firms an incentive to engage in risky investments;
the irrational psychology of stock market "bubbles," in which investing becomes speculative gambling; and
why the value of the dollar depends on interest rates elsewhere in the world.
6 DVDs (With Course Guidebook) / 1080 minutes
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Taught By Professor Connel Fullenkamp, Ph.D.
Understanding Investments helps you do just that. In 24 lectures, it introduces the fundamentals of investing to those new to the subject while broadening and deepening the knowledge of more experienced investors. Taught by Professor Connel Fullenkamp, an award-winning educator from Duke University who regularly consults in the world of international finance, these lectures clearly explain the various kinds of financial markets, the different kinds of investments available to you, and the pros and cons of each. Even more important: The course shows you how to evaluate each of these in terms of your own financial situation.
4 DVDs (With Course Guidebook) / 720 minutes
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Director: Jacques Sarasin
Simply and eloquently, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how the world's economy works. Drawing not only from his academic expertise but also from time spent on the ground in countries around the world, Stiglitz offers fresh thinking about the questions and challenges facing all of us - from well-off Americans to those mired in Third World poverty.
This five part series will appeal to experts and non-experts alike, as Stiglitz's clear and concise reasoning about the complexities of globalization is revealed. The topics covered include an overview of the world economy; the challenge of global warming and the environment; the future of global trade and immigration; how globalization can benefit (and harm) developing countries; and issues of security and terrorism.
Jospeh Stiglitz is one of the most respected economists in the world today. Some of his positions and achievements include:
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Chairman of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors
Chief Economist at the World Bank
Chair of the Management Board of the Brooks World Poverty Institute
Consultant to World Leaders
Professor at Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Stanford and (currently) Columbia University
Author of the Best-Selling Book Globalization and Its Discontents (translated into 35 languages) and its followup Making Globalization Work
2 DVDs / 380 minutes
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