Published May 01, 2005Social Genocide is a very angry documentary that explores the massive governmental corruption and oppressive international financial burdens that have led to massive poverty and nation-wide uprisings in Argentina.
Crammed with facts and figures, the film gives an extremely detailed account of the last 25 years of Argentinean history, from the brutal military dictatorship through to a series of political leaders whose embracing of neo-liberal policies have caused the nation's major economic and social collapse.
The film, narrated by director Solanas, is a harsh diatribe presenting a conspiracy of elite nationals and foreign business interests dead set on screwing the hard working people. While the topic is certainly worthwhile and interesting, the combination of an ever-present information-heavy voiceover and the accompanying uninspiring visual treatment make the movie a tad difficult to watch. Shot on digital video, the footage relies far too much on tracking shots through random bank offices and on scenes of streets and skyscrapers juxtaposed with close-up images of abject poverty reminiscent of a World Vision commercial.
Social Genocide does contain some interesting interviews (mostly talking head style), but unfortunately the English subtitles fail to translate the identities of the speakers, removing much needed context. Except for a brief attempt at the end of the film to look at the resulting protest movement, Social Genocide doesn't present much hope or any success stories coming from the ground in Argentina, unlike Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein's recent look at the same country's situation in The Take, which tells the stories of workers who take over the operation of their closed factories.
This film's bleak, information-centred approach lacks specific human stories for the viewer to connect with, and it suffers as a result. (Mongrel Media)