Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
With little fanfare, Robert Greenwald has become one of the most incisive activist filmmakers in America. Like his superb eve-of-the-election docs, Uncovered: The War on Iraq and Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is an investigative outcry driven by stringent reporting rather than attitude. Mixing statistics and employee testimony, Greenwald details business practices that provoke a gathering outrage: the coerced unpaid overtime, the foreign sweatshop labor, the health-insurance packages (now being upgraded) that have left thousands of employees to rely on Medicaid, the sucking dry of mom-and-pop stores. Greenwald floats the vital issue of whether Wal-Mart should be restrained by antimonopoly regulations, but his real question is cultural: Even with its rock-bottom prices, is Wal-Mart in the best interest of American consumers?