Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Outfoxing Wal-Mart

Robert Greenwald, director of Outfoxed, is taking on Wal-Mart with his new film. From the official website:

WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price takes the viewer on a deeply personal journey into the everyday lives of families struggling to fight goliath. From a family business owner in the Midwest to a preacher in California, from workers in Florida to a poet in Mexico, dozens of film crews on three continents bring the intensely personal stories of an assault on families and American values.

Having never seen the still unreleased film (for that matter, I never saw Outfoxed) I cannot endorse it. But there’s no doubt that the world’s largest company has some seriously shady business practices that deserve more scrutiny then they receive.

Besides my sympathy for the cause of exposing Wal-Mart for the evil empire it is, I’m intrigued by the grass roots marketing campaign Greenwald is using to promote his film. The film is being released on November 13th, and rather than relegating screenings to movie theaters, Greenwald and his crew have decided to show the film, via DVD, at thousands of individual screenings hosted by "family business owners, churches, teachers, students" and whoever else is interested. You can sign up to host an event here.

This is a heartening example of democracy and dialogue at the local level. I encourage anyone who has the means to host a screening. If you live in DC, I’ll invite you to mine.

--Matthew McCoy