Wal*Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price Robert Greenwald

Wal*Mart is evil, pure and simple. That's the premise from which Greenwald, a filmmaking agent provocateur, is working on with his latest "left of centre" documentary. And damn if he doesn't make an excellent case for his thesis. From tracking the impact of the opening of a mega-mart on a small town's local hardware and grocery stores, and even the local optometrist, to interviews with former company trainers and employees, Greenwald deconstructs the real hidden agenda behind Wal*Mart's business decisions. It helps that he gets unintentional assistance from the company's own CEO captured telling stockholders how well the company is doing while its employees are being coached on how to claim welfare and Medicaid assistance. The man behind such hot docs as Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism and Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War knows how to make a compelling case for his point of view without the self-aggrandising of Michael Moore. The DVD, which is where most people will have to see this film because it's not the kind of thing major theatre chains are comfortable carrying, includes the feature as well as a 20-minute version, which would conveniently play on TV with room for commercials in a half-hour slot. Here too is a great "behind the scenes" feature that details how the researchers got the material for the film and a mini-feature on the company's troubles with a unionised store in Quebec. Plus: director's commentary. (Disinformation, www.walmartmovie.com)