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« #024 AntiChrist w/ Joanne McNeil | Main | Review: La danse - Le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris »

December 08, 2009


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Erin D.

Hi Matthew, thanks you for commenting, it's always great to hear from film-maker teams.

As for your issues in my review, my information is coming from watching the film twice, reading the funder's website and looking around Mr. Diaz's imdb page. This is, quite frankly, a lot more attention than most viewers are going to give it or any other film. If an extended back and forth is required to understand the film's nuances then the film hasn't done its job.

As for "leap from television" I mean, Mr. Diaz's last 5 projects were for television.

Again, thank you for writing in. It's always great to hear from the people who contributed to the film-making.


Thanks for reviewing the film. A few points about your piece that I wanted to clarify.

The Schalkenbach Foundation's main goal is not agrarian reform at all. The main goal is to promote the works of economist and social reformer Henry George. Henry George wrote the seminal and best selling economic book of all time "Progress and Poverty".

Henry George wondered why the boom/bust cycle existed in the economy and also inquired into why there is so much poverty in a world with so much wealth. He came up with a unique assessment on the nature of the problem. He was interested in elimination of privilege and changing tax structures so that they fell on land values. While agrarian reform is part of it...sort is not the main focus of RSF or Henry George. There were 5 main (admittedly broad) reforms spoken about in the film.

As for drug and sex trafficking those are symptoms of poverty - not causes. Terrible indeed, to be sure. But our goal was to make a film about the origins of poverty. It is a massive subject with a limited budget - we couldn't go everywhere or tell every story without taking away what we felt was the main line.

As for US homelessness/poverty... True we did not talk about this but in the film there is a short section where we talk about why the poverty in the global South is more intense than in the North/West even when the same forces are at play all over. The poor in New York are poor for the same reasons as the poor in Nairobi but Kenya has trade imbalance and debt that magnify the problem.

Regarding terrorism - in the interview with Jerome Guillet in the last 3rd of the film he very explicitly points out the connection between poverty and the creation of terrorists. Josh Farley talks about unequal distribution of wealth and the connection to violence in societies.

Also I am not sure what you mean by the "leap from television" in regards to Philippe Diaz. Diaz has been directing films in the US for 20 years.

Best to you.
matthew stillman

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