The Divide – The Free-Market and Social Inequality

Katharine Round, a British filmmaker, is the director of the 2015 documentary The Divide. Christopher Hird and Katharine Round produced it.  It is an adaption of Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s popular socio-economic book The Spirit Level, published in 2009.

The Divide chronicles the aspirations of seven people in contemporary US and UK, when the wealth of the top 0.1 percent equals that of the bottom 90 percent. By weaving these stories together, we can see how the extent of the wealth divide has a profound impact on every area of our lives.

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This isn’t based on real life. This is real life.

The Divide paints a poetic, psychological, and tragicomic depiction of how economic inequality leads to societal split by blending these stories with news archives from 1979 to the present. High name critics are included in the movie, including Sir Alan Budd, a former economic advisor to Margaret Thatcher, Sir Max Hastings, Noam Chomsky, economist Ha-Joon Chang, and Sir Michael Marmot, an epidemiologist.

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.The Divide acts as a strong call to action as well as a warning. The best-selling, highly praised book “The Spirit Level” by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett served as the basis for the movie.

So what is relative social inequality within these two economically wealthy countries? With persistent social and health issues, many Western nations have appeared to become unhappier as they have grown wealthier. This movie aims to answer the question of why, despite rising financial riches, Western nations like the US and UK are going through severe social collapse.

Seven characters who are all pursuing better lives are interwoven throughout the movie, Wall Street psychologist Alden wants to make it to the top 1%; Glaswegian rapper Darren just
wants to stay sober; Newcastle carer Rochelle wishes her job wasn’t looked down on so much; Jen in Sacramento, California, doesn’t even talk to the neighbours in her upscale gated community – they’ve made it clear to her she isn’t “their kind”. It becomes clear that a higher
income doesn’t ensure happiness and inequality hurts us all – rich and poor.

The film’s narrative travels across the world, into individual lives, to see how broad economic shifts have shaped not only our physical circumstances but also the way we think and what we believe in. It reveals, piece by piece, the forces that have undermined our economic foundations, and led to a dramatic transfer of wealth to the very top: the top 0.1% in the US own as much wealth as the bottom 90% of the population.

Below is the “The Divide” (2015) produced by Dartmouth Films.

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