My efforts to promote my new film PLUNDER are underway with a little help from our Globalvision team and the good folks at Disinformation, who have managed to get it on iTunes and various cable TV VOD systems, as well as DVD. I was happy to see that the Wall Street Journal ran a shorter version of their story saying the film is “not just for Michael Moore fans” on their Deal Blog in the weekend edition of the newspaper. Here are some of the comments on the WSJ blog:
Why hasn’t anyone been successfully prosecuted for committing the crime Schechter speaks of? Because it’s too big. It’s too big of a problem for those culpable and those currently in charge (Wall Street and Washington) to deal with. Officials would much rather make the crisis a blip in our economic history, rather than a decade-defining moment (e.g. Depression of the 1930s)–this from Lawrence Summers at the recent EIA conference in DC. Perhaps we can draw on another example of a systemic, unethical phenomenon that also cost money and lives, that of U.S. engagement in torture throughout the Bush administration. The reason John Yoo, former Attorneys General, and others have not been prosecuted for the “torture memos” is because it’s TOO BIG of a problem. You take down Yoo, you take down most of the upper echelons of the American law enforcement branch. As such, officials now in charge are willing to just put the history behind us and move on, rather than create a HUGE stir. As such, Washington and Wall Street seem to be operating under a “too big to fail” mode–though it’s not banks they are discussing, it’s a system. You successfully prosecute Citi, Goldman, et al, then you fundamentally alter a status quo system with implications far beyond what can be imagined. Perhaps, more than the economic crimes Schechter speaks of, the moral failure to prosecute those guilty of monumental crimes because it’s too tough, too big, is the real crime of the century.
The lack of mainstream hue and cry is somewhat understandable. We essentially got our pound of flesh when we threw the GOP out of power in Washington in 2008. Since then, the remaining laissez-faire thumpers have been cutting backroom backscratching deals to avoid prosecutions – of themselves and of the bankers who pay them. What remains is to ensure that in the future the system will be able to observe and prevent these abuses, and hopefully some we haven’t thought of yet. That is the goal of the current reform efforts on the Hill. You can’t drive a car safely without mirrors and brakes, and you can’t run a capitalist economy safely without accountability and regulation.
andrew slavin wrote:
I read Danny Schechter’s book Plunder, on which this film is based — it’s a stunning piece of journalism. Reading it just makes your blood boil as the crisis is forensically dissected. People need to see this film.
WILLY D wrote:
TRUE STORY. A CLEAR CASE OF CORRUPTION AND POLITCS.
Tobin the Terrible wrote:
Creitland.org screened Schechter’s ‘In Debt We Trust’ in Minneapolis a couple of years ago. He brings old school investigative thoroughness and juxtaposition to ink and newsprint style journalism for 21st C seediness. Looking fwd to screening ‘Plunder’ soon.
Not a bad start. The reviews are coming in too: Justpressplay.net writes:
Plunder: The Crime of Our Time, at its heart, is a film championing the little guy — the wronged, screwed-over, little guy. It knows no neutrality, blatantly decrying the misdeeds of the wealthy (at least the dishonest wealthy, but come on — is there really any other kind?) and standing up for the people cheated by these misdeeds.
Plunder, Danny “the News Dissector” Schechter’s look into how closely Wall Street influenced — even caused — the financial crisis in which we’re living today, focuses on those at fault, and the reactions of the citizens most directly affected by the so-called “Second Depression.” Schechter conducts interview after interview with economic analysts and experts, as well as journalists, and even Sam Antar, the former CPA of Crazy Eddie, Inc. and a convicted white-collar criminal, who dishes the dirt on his colleagues. Protesters, usually homeowners who took the brunt of the injustice, were filmed swarming the offenders outside their homes or invading their workplaces.
Plunder, as a doc is inherently designed to educate, and does so in a way that will keep you interested regardless of whether you’re familiar with the Wall Street crisis or not…”
Read more: http://www.justpressplay.net/movie-reviews/929-dvd-reviews/6525-plunder-the-crime-of-our-time.html#ixzz0koYbWim6
The Denton Record Chonicle in Denton Texas was also mostly kind even if they call me a ”professional gadfly.” Duh?
Plunder: The Crime of Our Time (**1/2) Professional gadfly Danny Schechter created this documentary exposé about our recent financial crisis, hitting on the expected villains: Bernie Madoff, Wall Street, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and other malefactors.
However acerbic Schechter is in his barbs, at this point his harangue looks overly familiar. But he does fill in some of the gaps, providing a shorthand look at how the country’s finances fell apart.
In his investigation, Schechter interviews various experts, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. Schechter’s 2006 film In Debt We Trust also proved prophetic, with its doomsday predictions about the coming financial meltdown. Not rated, 100 minutes.
The DVD includes an eight-minute tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, six minutes on “Sex on Wall Street,” and a nine-minute interview with the excitable Mr. Schechter.