Saturday, August 30, 2014

Video: Stealing Popcorn (2009 Documentary)

“Stealing Popcorn” started when director Brett Allen came across a list of the 10 Most Corrupt leaders in the world. What fascinated him was that Number 8 on that list Pavlo Lazarenko a former Ukrainian Prime Minister was at that time being tried in San Fransisco court room on allegations of corruption, embezzlement of funds and money laundering. He was the first former foreign official who was prosecuted in US court. Brett started digging deeper and came across a whole web of corruption involving top Ukrainian officials in power even now. He asked himself a question: Why the new emerging capitalist societies which appeared on the post-Soviet platform acquired the worst characteristics the contemporary capitalism has to offer: social egoism and corruption of the ruling elite? Being inspired by Michael Moore’s “Capitalism. A Love story” and the investigative urge he decided to explore the part of the world a lot of us Americans don’t even know where it is on the map.

The documentary team came across a lot of facts, documents and opinions related to the case, ultimately it all came down to presenting those in a clear understandable narrative people would be able to follow. As Don, one of the interviewees says: “people are sheep”. They are fed “popcorn” every single day of their lives, by politicians, transnational corporations, big businesses, entertainment industry, marketing and advertising. The movie didn’t attempt to change the world as it is,it just wanted to present a “cool” image of what happens to the naïve sheep.

So why do we still follow the bad leaders, why do we eat that political popcorn?

This documentary is just the beginning. The filmmakers have a lot of directions to go from here, and as Brett Allen was saying: “it only just started and I’m hooked”.

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