This is a very intriguing investigation into the structures of America’s system of economic inequality and begins to explore possible solutions to it.
The filmmaker, himself, is a trust-fund baby and was born into one of the richest families in America, if not the world. The resistance he receives from his father, his family’s financial advisor, and the other super wealthy people he tries to interview is expected.
The One Percent does a great job at shining light on the often hidden state of affairs and presents evidence and testimony from individuals even occasionally acknowledging their business activities are often extremely harmful for many Americans, but it also, unexpectedly invokes a tinge of empathy in the viewer by showing that even the super wealthy, white men controlling the puppet strings are more like us than many care to admit. They worry about their future, the futures of their family members, and of course themselves. And, often, they seemingly desire a change to occur in our country, at least on some level, but have no idea what that change would look like. Many often even believe that change is impossible.
- Assignment: Take a second and put yourself in the shoes of the super wealthy. And I mean do this honestly; become that billionaire mogul in your mind’s eye. Can you honestly say you would see things differently or make difficult, self-defeating sacrifices of your own real wealth in the hopes that maybe it would do some good? It might not do any real good at all, leaving you on unstable ground with nothing to show for it. Or would you avert your attention elsewhere like these people do and assert the “impossibility” of a fair and just system as a scapegoat? I could easily see myself acting just as deplorable had I been born into a life in which I never wanted for anything.
All in all, this film is really well done. It takes a hard look at a very timely reality and helps begin the process of creating change which can lead to social and economic justice for all Americans! Most definitely worth the watch!
- Extra Credit: Organize a viewing party with a few of your friends and family. Make a night of it and follow up with discussion time and brainstorming afterwards. In so doing, you may even stumble upon the solution (or part thereof) which saves our country grants justice, actual freedom and respect to the whole of our society rather than just the few. Because, when every American is treated with honor and dignity and afforded the same justice as everyone else, only then will our country’s social problems (ie: crime, drug abuse, etc.) heal themselves and life become pleasant for all.
Leave your groups epiphanies in the comments below. Together we can bring justice to every American. Together we can!