Directors: Peter D. Hutchison/Kelly Nyks/Jared P. Scott
Naked City Pictures/PF Pictures/Gravitas Ventures
Released last year (and – it has to be said, already available on Netflix) this film couldn’t feel more relevant than right now if it tried, in the build-up to the American election, with the news that Trump will have the Republican nomination, and that NZ’s PM can, suddenly, remember everything given the release of the Panama Papers (well, he is a numbers man…).
Requiem For The American Dream is the veteran critic, writer, philosopher, pundit and professor Noam Chomsky discussing the disaster of neo-liberalism, a down-the-barrel discussion of the accelerating decline of a nation (and therefore global village) so focussed on money-as-power and the catastrophic effects that come from when “you put power in the hands of a narrow sector”.
Chomsky, 87, is calm and cogent and even if you don’t read from the same hymn-book there’s plenty to think about, dissect, discuss after. In that sense this is powerful polemic, great documentary fodder.
And the decision to run it in the festival – at this exact time – is perfect. A masterstroke from the festival.
There’s sadness in the title too – a clue as to how hopeless it all is – the game, the race over. The death of the American dream is here. There’s no escaping it. Billed as Chomsky’s last long-form interviews, you can see and feel and here the hopelessness even as he asserts the right to fight. Requiem sits well in his body of work – but it will tower as a stand-alone too, so many people will want to check this out given the nature of the discussion and the timing of this delivery. It’s well worth the 75 minutes.
Requiem For The American Dream is part of this year’s Documentary Edge Festival in New Zealand. The festival’s films screen in Wellington May 4-5, 2016 and in Auckland May 18-29, 2016.