THE BIG SELLOUT (Florian Opitz, Germany). 94 minutes. Subtitled. April 26, 9:30 pm, Al Green; April 28, 7:45 pm, ROM. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The 1980s' legacy of privatization is the theme of this doc-cum-protest-film. Director Florian Opitz travels to South Africa, England, Bolivia and the Philippines to investigate the effects of privatization on formerly public services, like railways in Britain and health care in Manila.
These are all essential services; a distinction the film hints at but doesn't emphasize. Private enterprise is not always evil, but people shouldn't go without light and medicine so others can make a profit.
Arguably, The Big Sellout does a disservice to its thesis by not presenting the other side of the story, unless you count a World Bank official claiming that privatization sometimes helps the poor. A few examples might have strengthened the argument.
Personal stories, more than academic arguments, are the core of this very moving film.