Documentary Review – Inequality For All

I find myself more and more watching documentaries of all kinds. Sometimes, they’re even on serious topics…though rarely are they done with a total serious approach.Income-Inequality-Graph-from-Robert-Reichs-New-Film

Let me clarify for a moment.

There has always and will always be social, political and financial inequality. It’s a fact of human nature that we haven’t evolved out of…hopefully that will change in time, but as much optimism as I can muster is that in reality, we just aren’t ready to truly have equality. For some odd reason, deep down in the core of our DNA, we all still have a need to feel superior. Even so, I can’t sit through documentaries or lectures when I feel like the person(s) delivering them don’t feel passion for what they are talking about. That passion invariably leads to humor, or at least irony (which I tend to find humor in anyway).

With that long-winded preamble out of the way…

Inequality For All is a fantastic documentary. First of all, Robert Reich is entertaining, informative and well versed in the topic of income inequality. Secondly, his self-deprecating humor about his height puts everyone at ease…even when the topic of conversation is about to take a sharp polarizing turn. Thirdly, and this is the most important, there is a healthy mix of both oral and visual references to illustrate his point.

At no time did I feel like I was being talked down to – even though admittedly I know next to no facts about the income gap – on the contrary, I felt very much like I was back in one of my favourate teachers classrooms being taught something incredibly dry and boring in an upbeat and jovial way. Like most people, I tend to retain information better when I’m awake as opposed to bored into a zombie-like state.

This topic has always been highly contentious and will likely always be so. Everyone dreams of making millions, living in a big house…the lifestyle of the rich and famous. The reality that we all eventually face is that the dream is out of reach for the VAST majority of the population and yet we all still defend a tax system that effectively punishes us for not making an eight-figure salary. We all know this, we all know how absurd and self-destructive it is and yet we all dream that one day we’ll be the 1% who will pay a pittance of taxes and it’s an alarming belief system. Robert Reich did an excellent job of illustrating this and frankly, if the message got through to even one person…it was worth it.

If the income inequality issue has confounded you, or if you feel like you’re being led down a path that is against your own self-interest…you owe it to yourself to at least watch this documentary and hopefully take something away from it.

Jim Breuer: More Than Me

Love him or hate him, Jim Breuer is one of the voices of our generation. If I have my way though, maybe my daughter will start carrying my ridiculous fanboy torch for him and others like him that have always managed to make me laugh. Names like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce are easy to toss around as comedy icons and Louie CK is quickly becoming one as well. Jim Breuer though has been one of my favorites for years, and it went farther back than his SNL days.

This documentary could easily be called “an ode to my dad” and any son who has had a rocky relationship with his father would get a lot out of this film if that’s all that it was. But like all things Breuer, it’s more than what is on the surface that makes you laugh.

The film follows Jim Jr. as he goes on a stand-up comedy tour and drags his dad along for the ride. Some people might think that dragging an 84 year old man out of his comfortable chair is cruel, but it’s done out of such love that I can’t imagine anyone but the most heartless haters could have a problem with it. While shedding some light on dealing with our parents getting older, this film shows how one father and son squeeze some life and some laughs out of weeks trapped on a tour bus together.

Loved it.