Review: “Encirclement: Neo-liberalism Ensnares Democracy”

Here is a great film review of a movie that will likely never run in the U.S. (but from the sounds of it should) by an excellent Vancouver blog, Beyond Robson.

If you are interested in economic theory, social justice, world trade, and financial systems then you will probably be interested in at least some of this film if not the entire thing. I never found myself bored despite the length and heavy content; and I was only lost once to what was going on, which is less of a testament to my intellect and more of a testament to the frankness of the interview subjects.

That all being said, I do have some criticisms of the film.

  • The first being that there is definitely room to make the film shorter without losing the flow of the argument or making the film unintelligible.
  • The second is that out of the many interview subjects in the film they were all old white guys except for one woman. A little diversity would have been welcomed.
  • The third, which builds on the second, is that, even though the topics were often ‘developing countries’ there was no inclusion of interviews of any representatives of those countries (maybe due to budget constrictions, who knows). However, this led the film to have a clinical and cold aspect that saw the topic removed from the actual people it impacts. This left the film feeling too heady and abstract with not much to connect the ideas with real life examples. Since being cold, clinical, and far removed from real life is one of the major criticisms of neo-liberal economic theory, it’s too bad a film criticizing it fell into the same trap.

It’s easy to make a film attacking neo-liberal policies and so I commend Brouillette’s inclusion of interviews with libertarians and neo-liberal champions; however, the last half of the film had a noticeable deficit in balanced interviews. I would have liked to hear more from the other side of the debate in order to see things clearer.

I have no doubt that many parts of this film, if not all, will be shown in university classrooms across the country and beyond.

One Response to “Review: “Encirclement: Neo-liberalism Ensnares Democracy””

  1. Maybe this guy could get an NEA Grant?? After all it’s just another political arm for Obamba and the Democrats right?

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