"It's the Economy, Stupid!"

"It's the Economy, Stupid!"

"It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism."
-- Frederic Jameson/Slavoj Zizek/Mark Fisher

Is it even possible to understand and engage with political economy, the invisible force that seems to shape how we live and die, via film?

How to make sense of economic history and theory, or poverty, inequality, and class relations?

With dramas like THE CLEARSTREAM AFFAIR, a story of financial corruption exposed, and THE OUTSIDER, recounting the extraordinary tale of how one young trader lost $ 4.9 Billion for a French bank, to Michael Apted’s unique documentary 56 UP, a mirror of the British class system, and Ilan Ziv’s monumental six-part CAPITALISM series, filmed in 23 countries, OVID has assembled an unmatched collection of original, illuminating, and well-argued films that take on this daunting challenge.

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"It's the Economy, Stupid!"
  • What's the Economy for, Anyway?

    Directed by John de Graaf and Hana Jindrova • Documentary • 2010 • 40 minutes

    In this film produced by John de Graaf of AFFLUENZA> fame, ecological economist Dave Batker presents a humorous, edgy, factual, timely and highly-visual monologue about the American economy today, challenging the ways ...

  • Downtown Dream

    Directed by Aaron Matthews • Documentary • 2013 • 45 minutes

    For decades, small town life in the United States has been quietly eroding. But there are overlooked stories amidst the talk of America's economic decline: the stories of individual men and women in the 'Rust Belt' community in Lewisto...

  • Zona Franca

    Directed by Georgi Lazarevski • Documentary • 2016 • 100 minutes

    Zona Franca is a large outdated shopping district at the heart of Chile's Patagonia, located near the Strait of Magellan. Everywhere this area shows the scars of the upheaval which transformed the last wild place of the original Am...

  • Lobster War

    Directed by David Abel • Documentary • 2019 • 74 minutes

    LOBSTER WAR is an award-winning feature documentary about a conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea, known as t...

  • An Injury To One

    Directed by Travis Wilkerson • Documentary • 2003 • 53 minutes

    AN INJURY TO ONE provides a corrective-and absolutely compelling-glimpse of a particularly volatile moment in early 20th century American labor history: the rise and fall of Butte, Montana. Specifically, it chronicles the mysterious ...

  • The Wobblies

    Directed by Stewart Bird and Deborah Shaffer • Documentary • 1979 • 89 minutes

    Founded in Chicago in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changed the course of American history. This compelling documentary of the IWW (or “The...

  • The Secret Life of Your Clothes

    Directed by Andy Wells • Documentary • 2016 • 59 minutes

    Each year, we give thousands of tons of our unwanted clothes to charity. But where do they actually go? It turns out most are exported to Africa. And even though we have given them away for free, our castoffs have created a multimillion-do...

  • System Error

    Directed by Florian Opitz • Documentary • 2017 • 96 minutes

    SYSTEM ERROR takes us from to the roots of the expectation of unlimited growth, particularly in the post-World War II years, to the financial crash of 2008 and beyond. Does the subsequent decade of simultaneous inequality, austerity, an...

  • Waiting for the Carnival

    Directed by Marcelo Gomes • Documentary • 2019 • 86 minutes

    The small village of Toritama is a microcosm of relentless capitalism. Each year, more than 20-million pairs of jeans are produced in make-shift factories. The locals work non-stop hours, proud to be the masters of their own time. Durin...

  • The Dirty War on the National Health Service

    Directed by John Pilger • Documentary • 2019 • 106 minutes

    Britain's National Health Service, the NHS, was the world's first universal public health service. Designed to give millions of people "freedom from fear" following World War II, the NHS today is under threat of being sold off and conver...

  • A Call to Action: The Freedom Budget of 1966

    Directed by Jenny Alexander • Documentary • With Martin Luther King • 2023 • 7 minutes

    “A Call to Action: The Freedom Budget of 1966” tells the story of a little-known grassroots push for guaranteed income during the civil rights movement. 

  • Miners Shot Down

    Directed by Rehad Desai • Documentary • 2014 • 86 minutes

    In August 2012, mine workers in one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress it, killing 34 and injuring many more. Th...

  • Family Business

    Directed by Tom Cohen • Documentary • 1982 • 90 minutes

    Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.

    Howie Snyder is an archetype: a retired Marine colonel in his mid 40s, he is an American entrepreneur struggling to make his business succeed.

    Howie's Shakey's Pizza franchise in Muncie, Indiana em...

  • Davos

    Directed by Daniel Hoesl • Documentary • With Klaus Schwab, Christine Lagarde • 2021 • 99 minutes

    Looking to decipher the fractured world of ours was the driving force to make this film. We‘ve been following the everyday life in Davos for over a year. The challenges of our society are shown thro...

  • The Forgotten Space

    Directed by Allan Sekula & Noel Burch • Documentary • 2010 • 112 minutes

    The 'forgotten space' of Allan Sekula and Noel Burch's essay film is the sea, the oceans through which 90% of the world's cargo now passes. At the heart of this space is the container box, which, since its invention in the ...

  • We the Workers

    Directed by Wen Hai • Documentary • 2017 • 174 minutes

    China’s economic miracle has been built on cheap labor. And now, that labor is starting to fight back. Filmed in the southeastern part of the country, WE THE WORKERS is a vérité documentary that closely follows people organizing workers and ...

  • Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

    Directed by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller • Documentary • With Matt Damon • 2010 • 78 minutes

    This acclaimed film looks at the amazing life of the renowned historian, activist and author. Following his early days as a shipyard labor organizer and bombardier in World War II, Howard Zinn became an a...

  • Live Nude Girls Unite!

    Directed by Vicky Funari & Julia Query • Documentary • With Julia Query, Siobhan Brooks, Kristina, Ellen, Star, Joyce Wallace • 2000 • 70 minutes

    Winner of the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Live Nude Girls Unite! is "a partisan tale from the inside" (Boston Pho...

  • A History of the European Working Class (series)

    4 items

    The working class has played an essential part of European countries’ history – through revolutions, wars and social progress. In four episodes of a spectacular tale, this show reminds us of what our societies owe to the workers’ movements and its struggles.

    The story begins in the 18th century,...

  • I Am Somebody

    Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1970 • 30 minutes

    In 1969, black female hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina went on strike for union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and the National Guard. Featuring An...

  • Tighten Your Belts, Bite the Bullet

    Directed by James Gaffney, Martin Lucas, and Jonathan Miller • Documentary • 1980 • 48 minutes

    Focusing on the 1970s fiscal crises in New York City and in Cleveland, Ohio, TIGHTEN YOUR BELTS, BITE THE BULLET looks at the root causes of fiscal crises in American cities, and the political response...

  • How to Steal a Country

    Directed by Rehad Desai, co-directed by Mark Kaplan • Documentary • 2020 • 87 minutes

    HOW TO STEAL A COUNTRY opens like a classic thriller, with investigative journalists meeting anonymous whistleblowers in a parking garage. There, they receive a hard drive filled with hundreds of thousands of e...

  • Nokia Mobile

    Directed by Arto Koskinen • Documentary • 2017 • 60 minutes

    Once upon a time there was a large Finnish company that manufactured the world’s best and most innovative mobile phones. This film tells the rise and fall of Nokia and the Finnish mobile phone industry from grassroots, the point of view...

  • Art and Oligarchs

    Directed by Tania Rakhmanova • Documentary • 2010 • 52 minutes

    A popular trend among Russian oligarchs is to purchase works of art. Why? It's a way to get into the Kremlin's good graces, to gild their image...and to cover up the origin of their fortunes, often acquired in the shadow of post-Sovi...