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The Take

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

{WINNER! Best Documentary, 2005 Cleveland International Film Festival}
{WINNER! Grand Jury Prize, 2004 AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival}
{WINNER! Best Justice and Human Rights Film, 2004 Vermont International Film Festival}

In the wake of Argentina's spectacular economic collapse, Latin America's most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. Thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory in Buenos Aires, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head.

Filmmakers Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein take viewers inside the lives of the workers and their families, who must fight for jobs and their dignity by confronting factory owners, politicians and judges. The result is a real-life political thriller that pits ordinary workers against the local ruling elite and the powerful forces of global capitalism.

Review

Vitally important...a deeply moving and informative film. Its purpose is to inspire further battles just like the one it portrays-not violent revolution, but small-scale, incremental political progress, the kind that doesn't make news, but does make real change. --Cinema Scope

Excellent! A classic victory for the little guy... If it were shown in U.S. cities hit by factory closures, it might give unemployed Americans ideas. --New York Daily News

EDITOR'S CHOICE! Highly Recommended! Unfolds like a genuine thriller in the Costa-Gavras vein. Compelling! --Video Librarian

Special Features

  • Short film: "Gustavo Benedetto: Presente!"
  • Documentary: Fire the Director: The Making of "The Take"

Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Klein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CCD1X4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Take" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Paul V. McDowell on September 27, 2006
Format: DVD
Overall, this is a moving film. As an anthropology instructor, I've shown it several times and evoking a largely sympathetic audience. Currently I'm writing a paper on the process of recuperacion, and this seems to be potentially one alternative model to the destructive policies of transnational corporations, their agencies, and the neoliberal ideology they espouse.

That said, there is one serious problem in their choice of a case study that runs throughout the film; the auto parts manufacturer Forja San Martin (Forja). It's a very moving portrait of Freddy Espinoza, one of the leaders of the cooperative taking over the shutdown factory. Lalo, the coordnator representing the national organization for recovered factories, seems to be a likable guy. We see the leaders trying to work out a deal with a tractor factory.

This image breaks down, however, when we learn from Andres Ruggeri in his "Worker Recovered Enterprises in Argentina" that the backslider depicted in the film, the one who supports Menem in the 2003 election, has taken over the leadership of Forja San Martin, that the others portrayed in the film have been expelled from the factory and cooperative, and that the deal with the tractor factory--Zanello by name--has fallen through.

Even worse, we find from Zachary Fields in his unpublished paper "A Conservative, Middle Aged Revolution," that Forja is producing way below capacity, that it cannot add new technology because banks refuse them credit (private lenders hate all recovered factory cooperatives), and that it cannot make any investments until they deliver to their customers, who often furnish Forja the raw materials. Forja, in short, is not doing well.

Zanon and Brukman seem to fare better when it comes to accurate representation.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Martin Podhorzer on April 10, 2006
Format: DVD
I'm a sociologist writting an MA Thesis about cooperatives and capitalist-to-worker owned companies. I was also born and raised in Argentina. I need to add more? This is the film that explains to you the phenomenon of closing capitalist firms converted into cooperatives that not only survive, but thrive! This could be the beggining of something new, of the possibility of Market Socialism (a form of Economic Democracy). The DVD contains an excellent 'behind-the-scenes' feature and a short about one of the young men murdered by the police during the popular uprising of December 2001. If you're interested in social movements, root initiatives and other of the kind, you must see this film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on March 10, 2007
Format: DVD
Using the recuperated Forja factory as a microcosm of the larger Argentine piquetero movement, author Naomi Klein and director Avi Lewis have done a brilliant job documenting the grassroots activism of marginalized workers in the wake of Argentina's dramatic economic collapse caused by years of IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs and the corrupt presidency of Carlos Menem. Faced with abject poverty and state repression, the unemployed auto-parts workers of the Forja factory have occupied their abandoned workplace and transformed it into a successful cooperative, proving thus the power of labor solidarity. As such, the Forja factory, like all the recuperated factories, neighborhood assemblies, and independent media collectives in Argentina, provides an inspirational example of direct democracy, participatory economics, and horizontal social organizing. Besides being an important film politically, as a work of art it is simply exquisite. Fans of Mercedes Sosa will especially be moved by the protest scenes that were put to her music!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Alexander on March 27, 2009
Format: DVD
Reflections on "The Take" J. Alexander

I've seen this film a few times now and it remains inspiring on repeated viewings, as do the bonus features included on the disc. Not just a microcosm of the effects of globalization in Latin America, this film is a microcosm of globalism everywhere in the world and how ordinary people can overcome the extraordinary corruption and exploitation institutionalized throughout the world economy of, by, and for the corporate elitist bankers, investors, and politicians. As is said toward the end of the film, "We [Argentina] are the mirror to look into, the mistake to avoid. Argentina is the waste that remains of a globalized country. We are where the rest of the world is going."

In the 1990s under President Menem and the direction of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), social services in Argentina were reduced, whole industries were sold off to foreign firms, and backroom deals were made, guaranteed to benefit the international elites and corrupt politicians when the well ran dry from being over bled by `pigs on the wing'. No other outcome was possible, and no other outcome has ever ultimately resulted. To profit under capitalism, corporations must create scarcity (by limiting supply) on the one hand, and an unlimited supply of cheap labor on the other. So when they were unable to do this in Argentina (due to worker demands and depressed global demand), they decided to remove all liquid capital from the Argentine economy and liquidate factories and equipment as quickly as possible.

Many workers, however, though `free to starve,' chose, rather, to take their right-to-life seriously by seizing their means of earning a living.
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