|Directors' Statement||Full Synopsis||The Crew||Featured Experts||Advisory Board|
Every American, indeed every human being on the planet, is acutely aware of the current world-wide economic crisis. We are a directing and producing team of myself, Donald Goldmacher, a longtime social issue filmmaker, and Frances Causey, a journalist and former CNN News Editor. HEIST began in May 2006 as an investigative media piece on the massive influx of undocumented workers across the Arizona border, where Frances lives. But it soon became apparent that the issue of undocumented workers was part of a larger story about how the American economy had been transformed to serve the interests of a few at the expense of all workers at all rungs of the socio-economic ladder.
Fortunately, we stumbled on a newly written book—The Global Class War—in summer 2006, which made it clear that American businesses had morphed into multi-national corporations with no allegiance to the success of the U.S. economy, and would do anything to increase their bottom line, even going so far as to impoverish the American middle class. There has been very little discussion about income inequality in the U.S. or the prevailing two class system which has emerged with an ever widening gap between rich and poor. The need for this analysis became a great motivator for us to tackle a complex and multi-layered story that we believe has not been told to public audiences from start (the dismantling of the New Deal) to finish (an ongoing attack on the middle class.)
As we began to understand the scope of the story, we contacted thought leaders and experts on these issues, including the father of Reaganomics and key Clinton economic adviser, Alan Blinder, as well as other experts who were predicting a coming housing bubble collapse. As fate would have it, these interviews (scheduled months in advance in New York City and Washington D.C.) took place during the week that Wall Street collapsed. As the economy was crumbling before our eyes, we felt an even deeper urgency to explain how it happened and to address the fundamental institutional and political changes that had taken place over a period of decades in the U.S. which had created a bubble economy.
Beginning with the infamous Powell Memo of 1971, which called for corporate interests to prevail above all else - through the support of Republican and Democratic administrations alike - millions of manufacturing jobs were outsourced, organized labor was decimated, industry was widely deregulated, and tax policies were implemented that favored corporate interests and the elite. In addition, media deregulation and consolidation created a situation where the American public was left out of any critical debate about what was going on in the U.S., politically and economically. Once we understood the magnitude of these changes, the goal was to create a primer for the American middle class to understand the country's economic history, and to motivate audiences to redefine and rebuild the American Dream with local, sustainable green economies.
Ultimately, HEIST can serve as a sober warning about what is happening to our country, and provide some ideas of how to restore fairness and community, while reigning in the power of corporations. The underlying idea of HEIST is that knowledge is power, and that social change comes from the bottom up. Creating a social movement for a new economy is critical to reclaiming of quality of life for American workers, and compelling, fact-driven storytelling is an essential way to achieve this.
|Connecting the Dots Productions, © 2012|