Profit and Nothing But! (2001)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Synopsis by Elbert Ventura

An angry lament for the world's poor and disenfranchised, Raoul Peck's Profit and Nothing But! is less a documentary than an ardent political tract. Summoning the spirit of the great French filmmaker Chris Marker, the movie clearly aims to place itself as the latest in a valiant line of leftist agitation in cinema. Peck, a one-time culture minister of Haiti, takes as his departure point the poor people of Port au Piment in his homeland. Unabashedly Marxist in its thrust, the movie proceeds in formless fashion, unfolding as an impassioned, if meandering, discourse against the evils of the capitalist system and the Western powers that champion it. The movie claims that "capital has succeeded in buying our silence," and deplores the seeming absence of global outrage in the face of unfathomable inequality. Shot on Beta SP, Profit and Nothing But! features man-on-the-street interviews with the well-off residents of Paris and New York, as well as archival footage of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterand, and other Western leaders, whom Peck accuses of perpetuating an economic system that has led to the neglect and ruin of much of the world's population.