The film examines the relationships among governments, people and corporations using ghetto’ s rules of “the game” as a matrix. It compares the role models, archetypes and paradigms of our society to the simplified, but accurate rules of survival among the pimps and whores.
Using a combination of staged classroom, where students are taking a class in Ghetto Physics, that might have been titled Orientation for Survival in the World of Reality, intercut with number of interviews, the film presents the grid of the society that rules us, as well as the filmmakers’ point of view why does it rule the way it does. It’s bit forced at times, but it gets the point across clearly.
I did not find the reasoning surprising; most of what is discussed or shown, I have discovered for myself quite a long time ago. The arguments and examples are believable if not eye opening.
What is surprising, is the reluctance with which the audience watch the film in the United States. It is the same disbelieve, combined with ignorant arrogance, that I have always experienced when producing similar arguments in political or social debates.
People generally stuck by politicians because he was “so inspiring” or a party because “it was better than the other”. I suffer from no delusional love for the status quo, nor do I seek knight in shiny armor where a well versed economist is needed. The filmmakers seem to trust that majority of citizens is able to follow reason rather than marketing; I am afraid that they are wrong.
The film is written and directed by William Arntz and E. Raymond BrownRaymond Brown and retains some of the quirkiness of What the Bleep Do We Know?
It also retains “Bleeps” message that any change is possible, for anyone, as long as they put their mind to it. Change for all of us would be the result of such effort on large scale. Cynthia Mckinney says: “We can all be victims of other people games or masters of our own destiny”.
That is probably the weakest part of the film. It is hard to buy into a personal empowerment that originates in oneself when clearly the accident of birth determines our fate to a great degree. We have studies to prove this.
Even the film itself shows the former presidents of Panama and Chile who were assassinated. Both avoided the trap of national debt forced on them for by The International Monetary Fund that, as the film correctly assess, lends money at a high rate to nations with desirable natural goods and industry while forcing them to use the loans’ funds for development of costly infrastructures that benefit few domestic people but bring immense profit to the loaners. Companies that build the infrastructure and take domestic goods, at very low prices, as part of the payment are always connected to those in IMF. The International Monetary Fund exist solely to provide these untenable loans that profit international corporation and banking of the big 7 countries. The developing countries are left with ever growing debts and depleted natural resources. In effect, they can never re-pay the loans and the longer they try the poorer they get.
Being killed because one refuses to sell out to this scam is hardly a positive outcome. The idea that one can free oneself while imprisoned in concentration camp or being gassed is mind-boggling.
This assumption clearly shows the shortcomings of filmmakers locked within the secure bubble of privileged birth, upbringing and life. Perhaps for them personal intellectual growth that allows for freedom from possessions is the ultimate goal, for many to have a roof over their heads and health care is too time consuming to worry about such lofty ideas. Nor can many people just up and go; they have no means of survival and depending on the kindness of strangers is highly overrated.
Judging by the reaction of my co-watchers, “Ghetto’s” didactics irritate those who refuse to understand the forces working in the society they live in.
That’s fine; however, I do expect a film critic to recognize a genre film and judge it within the genre parameters. As this genre goes, the film is often fun, informative and irritating. I expect that is what it aims to achieve while delivering its message. You might dislike or disagree with the message, if you are a film critic you still need to see the film as a film with its merits as well as its mistakes.