Just as the news seems bleak, a government shut down translating to national parks closing their gates to tourists, and workers home without pay, Google’s celebration of Yosemite’s anniversary seems especially ironic. The documentary Inequality for All turns its penetrating gaze onto another piece of evidence of meltdown: the vast gap between the 1% and 99%. The film delves into how we got to this economic chasm, which while not necessarily a new question, is interesting to look at spelled out, graphs and all. What’s new is the focus on former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and his optimism.
At a New York premiere at the Paley Center for Media last week, Reich spoke to host Maria Cuomo Cole and her parents Mario and Mathilda Cuomo, among others: Aaron Sorkin, Albert Maysles, D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, and many media and film professionals. Police Commissioner Ray Kelley attended. Director Jacob Kornbluth said he made the film because he did not grow up rich, and since 2008, he wanted to investigate America’s disparity in wealth. He assured me that even those who are normally not focused on economics like his film because of the Mario and Mathilda Cuomo, man at center. Given the film’s economic focus, I found it funny that Kornbluth bet me a dollar that I would too. Liking it very much, at this moment, I owe him one.