Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price

This movie came out a few years ago, but I never got around to seeing it until recently. And honestly I only watched it because I was bored and it was free to watch on my Netflix. However, after watching it I ranted for a week straight to anyone who would listen to me vent about how "absolutely terrible" Walmart is. Later I felt silly about how worked up it made me, but that only proves how effective the documentary really is.

The film was broken down into multiple segments, each about another way in which Walmart is ruining the world. And really, with each section you do get more and more appalled with the company. The film has tons of talking head interviews, which after a while would usually get boring, but each person has something new and shocking to tell you, so really, you look forward to them because you end up craving these people's horror stories. Each section suprised me more, and I couldn't believe how much content they had for the film. It started out showing how Walmart causes small town businesses and mom and pop stores to shut down because they can't compete. Some of the other sections talked about how the ways in which they discriminate, force people to work unpaid overtime, don't pay wages that can afford for their own Walmart insurance plan, have terrible factories abroad that have poor conditions and no wages, how selfish and greedy the Walden family is, how they bully workers so they can't unionize, and even an amazing segment soley on the crime that occurs in Walmart parking lots. This documentary is extremely effective in its intentions, and honestly made my jaw drop a little more with each segment. No one seemed to share in my disbelief though, as everyone saw it four years ago when it came out..

From a filmmaker's/editor's standpoint, I think at some points it came across a little 'homemade'. There is a lot of text that comes sporatically, in bright colors with cheesy canned sound and effects. The material being showed was shocking and interesting, and adding was only distracting and hurt the film's credibility. I also got annoyed at the montage at the end of all the cities that have protested and managed to keep out Walmarts. They show pictures and have on-screen text with the city names, but after a little bit they just repeat. It cycles through multiple times, and when you start to notice they're the same cities over and over it looks like they're exaggerating how much has actually been done.

It's on YouTube broken into pieces, I highly suggest checking some of it out if you haven 't already seen it.

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