JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Stars and Strife (Director/Writer: David Smick) - November 2, 2020

Stars and Strife

4 4
97 min.

What is “The right Answer”?

Having just finished captioning the latest episode of CBC’s Dragons’ Den (a show where would be entrepreneurs enter the den in search of financing from successful capitalists), and just two days before one of the most divisive exercises in democracy seen in recent decades (the U.S. presidential election), it seemed the perfect time to take a gander at writer-director David Smick’s thoughts about the current state of politics in the land of the free and home of the brave.

The talented filmmaker lifts off with a covey of hate (too partisan politicians, greed rather than policy setting the national agenda, and COVID-19 rearing its ugly, deadly head) before offering few glimmers of hope 90 minutes later from the likes of Home Depot billionaire Ken Langone (“Trump is absolutely doing the right thing”) heartily agreeing that America’s best days lie ahead. But no best-before due date on that prognostication.

Others aren’t so sure, ranging from academians (notably Amy Chua), Black Lives Matter leaders (Hawk Newsome shows remarkable balance dealing with white supremacists) or reformed “haters” (Derek Black abandons his father’s beliefs and the KKK’s actions once living in a more loving community) who hope for the best but understand that like “most great empires collapse after 250 years”, the U.S. is on moral life support. With the advent/pervasiveness of “social” media, too many citizens take their daily “truth” from unsubstantiated rumours, innuendo and lies readily available without benefit of opposite voices or facts. Both sides also know this, but what’s an honest politician to do? (Lose, of course).

So long as money talks louder than words/action/policy, chances of reforming the electoral system (from abandoning the Electoral College to implementing ranked ballots—as in Canada, many incumbents would vanish), are slim to none.

November 3 in Trump’s words will, I believe, “be a disaster”. He will be remembered, (like Nero) as someone who “tweets” while Washington burns. JWR

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Director/Writer - David Smick
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