Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ich Bien Ein P-CRACer

Critical documentary on Wal-Mart stirs Berlin fest
By Erik Kirschbaum

A documentary on the perils of runaway capitalism that spotlights Wal-Mart screened at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, and interest among European distributors and television networks has been strong.

The feature-length documentary focuses on working conditions at the U.S. retail giant and argues that the company treats its employees shabbily in pursuit of maximum profit.

"Wal-Mart is the poster child for the worst in corporate behavior," U.S. director Robert Greenwald said in an interview after his film, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," screened to a large and appreciative audience.

"But it is not only Wal-Mart, it is these issues that affect all of us all around the world."

Wal-Mart, based in Betonville, Arkansas, has criticized the film by saying it is not an accurate portrayal of the company.

"Let's be clear about Mr. Greenwald's intent: it is not to present a fair and accurate portrayal of Wal-Mart," the retailer said in a statement last year. "It is a propaganda video -- pure and simple -- designed to advance a narrow, special-interest agenda."


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