The American Ruling Class

The American Ruling Class

DVD - 2008
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One of the more unusual films to come out of America in recent years. The form is a 'dramatic-documentary-musical' and the content is our country's most taboo topic: class, power, and privilege in our supposedly democratic society.
Publisher: [United States] : Alive Mind ; New York : Manufactured and distributed by Lorber HT Digital, [2008]
Edition: Widescreen ed
Branch Call Number: DVD 305.5 AME

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StarGladiator
Aug 18, 2015

You will not learn about America's ruling class from this DVD, nor from Lapham. Nothing furthermore need be said . . .

p
pl8
Jul 15, 2014

I watched this several months ago and am about to look at it again, but I must admit that I remain baffled by it. It is a strange film, not simply because it is a docu-drama that plays freely with cinematic conventions (and as far as I could tell it did this amateurishly). It is strange because it appears to examine the "American Ruling Class" from the perspective of those who are either members of it or strive to be part of it. At times it even resembled an educational film from the 1950s, and its hard to tell if that was intentional or not. I am not terribly familiar with Lewis H. Lapham, so perhaps if I was it would have made more sense to me. My gut feeling was that the film itself was enormously manipulative and suspect, but I am not sure. Perhaps it is from the perspective of people with good intentions but extreme naiveté. Or perhaps it was simply made by privileged people with backgrounds in print journalism who didn't really know how to make a film or who's over-confidence in making a film for the first time worked against them. Or perhaps, yes, it was simply over my head. The ideas in the film are not terribly complex or obscure, so I do think that I "got" the film on that level, but there was just something so off and strange about it that makes me uncertain. I would love to hear other people's opinion on this film, because I am stumped.
AFTER 2ND VIEWING: This film is messed up, I'd forgotten a few things about it. It has two main problems: 1- Its just a terribly made film and is completely scatterbrained and without coherence, and 2- the message of the film is (and please do correct me if I am wrong) that the ruling class is made up of the absolute, indisputable "best and brightest" who merit membership and are recruited in, but the problem with this country is that often these deserving elites are naughty and don't act virtuously. Riiiiiight, that's the problem Mr Lapham. Strange, messed up film.

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