Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wal-Mart - The High Cost of Low Price

This evening, I went to a screening of Robert Greenwald's new movie Wal-Mart - The High Cost of Low Price. Tonight was the beginning of premier week in which there are 7000+ screenings nation wide, many of which are held at normal people's houses.

I had signed up for one at someone's house in Venice, but when I arrived, there was no one home and I went home disappointed that someone wasted my time. Luckily, there was another showing later in the evening at Temple Isaiah, a reform Jewish congregation specializing in social action. The temple was packed with over 350 people. I had no idea so many people would show up in a temple for a film about Wal-Mart.

The movie was pretty good, but in my case it was preaching to the choir as I had already made an effort to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart, and most other big box stores for that matter. The movie mostly consisted of personal accounts covering the many ways that Wal-Mart is bad for society. Some things that surprised me were how little the Walton family gives to charity given their wealth, how much crime is committed in Wal-Mart parking lots, and how the Walton family has their own personal bunker where they could go to escape an apocalyptic event.

That last one got me thinking that many rich people must have similar bunkers. Does this mean that only the world's wealthiest people will survive a large-scale catastrophic event? Someone should make a movie about the world's rich people coming out of their bunkers and populating the earth after the apocalypse.

The movie ends on a positive note with stories of how communities have been able to prevent Wal-Mart from moving in. I was proud of my neighboring city, Inglewood, one of two cities (the other was Chandler, AZ) that fought Wal-Mart and won.

I hope Wal-Mart employees and shoppers have a chance to see this movie and that it makes them think twice before working or shopping there.

No comments: