On par with the best documentaries of the 21st Century thus far, “Requiem for the American Dream” is an essential viewing for the discerning viewer in search of a more complete understanding of how American society has evolved to such a dramatic point of polarization, and how both politics and big business have played a role in this process. In his introductory remarks to the film, celebrated intellectual and linguistics professor Noam Chomsky expounds: “Inequality has highly negative consequences on society as a whole, because the very fact of inequality has a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy.” Chomsky spells out his perspective regarding the modern political machine and the downfall of democracy, with a keen eye to the historical decisions and influences that have sabotaged the “common good” and shaped America’s current political, financial and social landscape.
This film feels rushed, and the cinematography feels nauseating. Somehow this film scrapes the film of milk from the coffee that is Chomsky’s life work, it dips the viewers toes into the theories of one of best counterculture academics. However the length of the film, which barely makes it to an hour, results in much of the depth of argument greatly lacking. The chapters bookmark key theories, but they never allow for enough discussion. The focus pulls and pans made me feel like I was watching an episodic comedy, it just didn’t fit the subject matter. It seems to be an attempt to add drama to the dialogue, but it left me feeling nauseated. This film never reaches its full potential simply because it was too short, make it twice as long and then it’d something more than a film filled with clickbait headlines.
Excellent documentary. Put together things I already understand, and some I didn’t, in an eloquent and succient way.
What did you think? Who should watch it?