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May 7, 2007 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

The Take (2004)

The main story in the media, as I write this, is the high New Zealand dollar. I can’t think of any films on that topic. However a supposed result of the high dollar is the loss of manufacturing jobs, though I think it has more to do with greedy employers needing to exploit even more vulnerable workers. The workers at Fisher & Paykel possibly don’t care why they are being thrown on the scrap heap, they just know its wrong.

The Take is a documentary about the worker-controlled factories of Argentina. Following Argentina’s 2001 economic collapse many factories were abandoned by their owners, who had been receiving huge amounts of corporate welfare from the government, yet still couldn’t make a profit. Capitalism and the bosses who run it had failed. The case of the Brukman factory, which was taken over by its female seamstresses and operated by themselves without bosses or management, went on to inspire over 200 hundred similar occupations. The film follows one of these “takes”, as they are called, of an auto parts factory. We see the worker’s struggle for dignity and a decent life. This is contrasted with the Presidential elections that are taking place, in which corrupted and disconnected candidates compete in a meaningless spectacle.

When it comes down to it, workers are always going to get screwed over as long as their fate is in the hands of the bosses and the market.

We needed an economy that puts people before profit (or forgets about profit altogether) and places the mass of people in control. As The Take shows the workers can do a much better job of running things than the bosses, and their governments, ever have.



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