There are two types of political documentarian. One shouts at you until he is red in the face, and then stares, brow furrowed, until you do something, dammit. I’m looking at you, Michael Moore and Dinesh D’Souza. Jacob Kornbluth, director of Inequality for All, falls into the other category of directors who, like Errol Morris, don’t trade the lens for a soapbox. Something of a personal tutoring session with UC Berkeley professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Inequality for All lays it all on the table in the first 10 minutes: As inequality rises, the economy suffers. Kornbluth doesn’t break out his dead-horse whip, though. There’s a lot more data to be tastefully presented, and through the personalities of Reich and other interviewees, a sense of story emerges. Pillow tycoon Nick Hanauer explains why the 1 percent don’t really help the economy. “Even the richest people only sleep on one or two pillows,” Hanauer says. “I have the nicest Audi you can buy, but it’s still just one Audi.” We laugh with Hanauer without guilt, because Kornbluth has sailed his documentary between both the Scylla of dead facts and figures and the muckraking Charybdis.
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- Release Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
- Critic's Score: A-
- Watch the trailer