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by Brittany Yap, associate editor


Producer and director Robert Greenwald penetrates the lives of former Wal-Mart employees, their customers, and the communities affected by the expanding company.

According to the film, a substantial number of Wal-Mart employees earn wages far below the poverty line, Wal-Mart employees are forced to work off-the-clock, and Wal-Mart’s health care eligibility is both restrictive and expensive.

According to Greenwald, Wal-Mart’s greed eventually ends up on taxpayer’s shoulders because Wal-Mart employees qualify for federal assistance, and some employees admit the company encourages them to go on food stamps.

The film goes on to say that Wal-Mart has had a huge economic impact on “Mom and Pop” stores, putting many of them out of business, and that every new Wal-Mart increases vehicle traffic.

What is most impressive is that the documentary takes viewers all the way to Shenzhen, China, which is one of the many places that Wal-Mart uses to make its $18 billion worth of goods each year. The camera shows us Chinese sweatshop workers who live in cramped dormitories and work ridiculous hours for low wages so Wal-Mart can keep its prices down.

According to Greenwald, Wal-Mart is anti-union and its managers retaliate against those who try to unionize by intimidating and threatening them. If managers feel a worker is a threat, they simply fire him or her.

Although the producer is not shy about showing his feelings toward the retail giant, there are two sides to every story, and the film does not show Wal-Mart defending itself. However, the film brings up many serious questions of corporate power and greed, and it will leave you wanting to go out and picket the Wal-Mart nearest you.

The film is 98 minutes long and is sold in stores across the country for $12.95. It can be rented at most video stores. For more information visit walmartmovie.com.



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