SPECIAL TWO HOUR SPECIAL: Thursday March 24, 2005 at 8pm on CBC-TV
Repeating on the Passionate Eye Sunday, April 3 at 10pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld
Just a few years ago, Argentina was the darling of international investors. It had a seemingly safe economy subscribing to the rules of the global market-deregulation, privatization and downsizing of social programs. And it had a leader, Carlos Menem, who was heralded as a hero in Washington. For many citizens, the dramatic economic collapse in 2001 came as a sudden shock. Tens of thousands watched their life savings disappear, while multinational banks and corporations whisked $40 billion out of the country in the dead of the night. The working and middle classes found themselves facing massive unemployment in ghost towns full of abandoned factories.
FILM WEBSITE: Visit the NFB film website.
Journalists Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein went to Argentina and found something growing in the rubble of the country’s shattered economy: a ‘do-it-yourself’ revolution, a new movement creating concrete alternatives to the global economic model.
In eight months of shooting with an international crew of activists and young filmmakers, Lewis and Klein found that Argentines did not only take over the streets-throwing out five presidents in three weeks in 2001-they also began to take over the abandoned businesses where they had once been employed. Their goal: to take matters into their own hands and re-start the machines left silent when their bosses locked the doors and fled.
THE TAKE seamlessly weaves first-hand accounts from unemployed workers and their families with a critical overview of macro-economic policies. Contrasting the failed recipe of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with the shop floor democracy embraced by workers in their ‘recovered companies,’ the film exposes the ideology and effects of the capitalist ‘Wild West.’ It also champions a radical economic manifesto embodied in the workers’ slogan, ‘Occupy, Resist, Produce.’ But what shines through in the film is the simple drama of workers’ lives and their struggles: the demand for dignity and the searing injustice of dignity denied.
This is a fiercely engaging political thriller that pits ordinary workers against the ruling elite and the power of international corporate capitalism.
THE TAKE is directed by Avi Lewis; produced by Avi Lewis, Naomi Klein and Katie McKenna. Executive producer is Laszlo Barna, Barna Alper Productions, in association with the CBC and the NFB.