The Take Avi Lewis

The Take Avi Lewis
Self-described activist/journalist Avi Lewis and activist/author Naomi Klein have spearheaded an astonishing first film in The Take. The inspiring documentary chronicles a successful series of uprisings by Argentine workers who take DIY to a whole new level when their employers forsake them when Argentina's economy collapses in 2001. After winning the 1989 Presidential election on a worker-friendly PerĂ³nist platform favouring national production over foreign control of the economy, Carlos Menem proceeded to implement policies that wreaked havoc on his country. By privatising all national assets, deregulating currency markets and endearing himself to the IMF/World Bank set, Menem fucked things up so badly that Argentina's GDP almost doubled while its unemployment rate tripled and hundreds of thousands of workers were left with nothing. Rather than sit idly by and allow corporate neglect to eat away at abandoned factories across their once prosperous nation, groups of unemployed workers endeavoured to take their jobs back by occupying their former workplaces and managing the white collar end of things themselves. Compelled by the success of occupiers of a ceramics factory in Patagonia and a garment factory in Buenos Aires, Lewis and Klein focus their film upon a group of 30 like-minded unemployed workers who desperately wish to restart the Forja Auto Parts factory that once provided their livelihood. Their struggle is absolutely heart-wrenching and their obstacles (corrupt city officials, a looming political comeback by Menem, etc.) are simply villainous. The story is rendered with grace, beauty and immediacy by Lewis. The film bubbles with such an impassioned eye for detail that every tear shed in the film is likely to incite viewers as much as every scene of riotous protest. The Take is an empowering event capable of bringing audiences to their feet and fostering a sense that even the bleakest governmental "screw you" can be righteously usurped. (Alliance Atlantis)