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  • timmy_50127 December 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    In his long review of The Forgotten Space, Jonathan Rosenbaum mentions that he learned a lot more from this film than any other film he saw that year. This is a statement I'd have to agree with, yet at the same time the film's oddly unorganized structure makes it an essay film without a really coherent point. It's mostly about shipping and globalization but it's sometimes hard to really connect that to some of the individual sections, though I suppose that a long sequence about a boarding school, to name just one example, is there to emphasize the human dimension of the globalization of shipping. This doesn't always work and it often detracts from some of the film's more general points. However, even without a strong focus this film touches on a lot of interesting points, starting with the incredible volume of freight that moves all over the world everyday, especially in the sea. The film also turns a critical eye on labor practices and industrial culture, especially with a sequence that suggests that even a museum can become a tool of imperialism. Overall, The Forgotten Space is consistently interesting and it is aesthetically interesting in that it features a lot of images that I probably never would have seen otherwise, though they are never handled in a way that really emphasizes their uniqueness.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I gave it an extra star because it is photographed well and the language translations seem correct. Otherwise it is 1 star worthy.

    But how simple are the ideas in this documentary? It has all the intellectual depth of 10th graders that believe if we got rid of bulldozers we could hire a lot more people to move dirt.

    Have Sekula or Burch never heard of Frederic Bastiat and the broken window fallacy? The film starts out bemoaning the loss of jobs in the shipping industry as if well paying jobs on the docks is a human right. Later they have truck drivers that are making less than minimum wage and bemoan their fate.

    Here's an idea - the real minimum wage is zero. If these drivers are willing to work for what they are offered then that is the market talking, not some greedy shipper. If they are such valuable workers, why don't they go get a job that pays more. Why would any shipper pay more when there are plenty of drivers that accept what they are paying? If no business owner wants to pay them more than they are worth they will be making nothing which is less than they are making now.

    No business is run with the idea of hiring as many people as possible. A business wants to eliminate as many workers as possible or it will not be in business for very long.

    So the entire premise of the film is worthy of Marx and Engels that has worked such wonders in Eastern Europe and Russia. Socialism and Communism have worked out so well for the peons, right? We've got to keep these phony-baloney jobs. I think the film makers never got past their 10th grade classes.