UC Berkeley Library

Malls & Megastores

Is Wal-Mart Good for America?

Examines Wal-Mart's importation of Chinese goods into the United States. Discusses that while some economists credit Wal-Mart's focus on low costs with helping contain U.S. inflation, others charge that the company is the main force driving the massive overseas shift to China in the production of American consumer goods, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and a lower standard of living in the U.S. Originally broadcast on Nov. 16, 2004 as a segment of: Frontline. 60 min.

It's a Mall World

Examines cultural and psychological aspects of what is now an archetypal suburban experience: shopping at the mall. Visiting "cathedrals of consumerism" throughout North America -- from the Southdale, Minnesota, progenitor of the enclosed retail mall to the absurdly spectacular Grand Canal Shoppes and Desert Passage in Las Vegas -- the video raises fundamental questions about consumer identity and diversity.

Malls R Us

Documentary that examines the social significance of shopping malls. Looks at North America's most popular and profitable suburban destination-the enclosed shopping center-and how for consumers they function as a communal, even ceremonial experience and, for retailers, sites where their idealism, passion and greed merge. Written and directed by Helene Klodawsky. 2008. 78 min.
Awards American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Videos for AdultsRelated web sites: Description from Icarus Films catalog

Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town

In the U.S. Wal-Mart opens a new mega-store every two business days. This film follows events in Ashland, VA, over a one-year period, from the first stormy public hearing that galvanizes residents' opposition until the Town Council takes a final vote on the proposed Wal-Mart Store. The film does not single out Wal-Mart, but rather highlights its position as the icon of the Big Box industry. While offering a critical view of this industry, all viewpoints on this controversial issue are presented fairly. c2001. 60 min. ;

The Human Cost Behind Bargain Shopping

What price do people in faraway places pay so Americans can get their bargains in stores like Wal-Mart? Dateline investigates what's behind the bargains and how problematic it can be for American companies to monitor the working conditions in foreign factories they don't control, where factory owners are under pressure to keep costs down. Dateline invented a phony clothing company to gain access to the factory floor in Bangladesh and spoke with the workers about their pay and working conditions. A segment from the June 17, 2005 NBC News television program, Dateline NBC. 29 min.

Wal-Mart Nation: Tales From the Big box Wars

Documentary about the anti-Wal-Mart movement in the U.S. and Canada. The film tries to answer the question, "How did one of the world's most successful and influential companies become the most hated?" The filmmakers were granted rare access both to Wal-Mart itself, and the inner sanctums of its bitterest enemies, resulting in a provocative and frequently humorous documentary. Produced, written & directed by Andrew Munger. Dist: Filmwest Associates. c2007. 43 min.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.

Looks at the effect Wal-Mart stores have on local businesses, their employees' economic status, the rights of women and minorities as Wal-Mart Associates, the lack of environmental responsibility by Wal-Mart starting with corporate headquarters on down, and the exploitation of Chinese and Bangladesh workers. Shows that Wal-Mart has concern for its own profits by heavy in-store security but well-known lack of security in their parking lots which have an inordinate amount of crime.

Warning

Examines the derivative securities market during the 1990s and explores early warnings of the financial crisis of 2008. Uncovers an intense battle between high-ranking members of the Clinton administration versus Brooksley Born who tried to sound the alarm about the need to regulate the emerging, highly complex, and lucrative derivatives markets. Examines Alan Greenspan's economic policies. Written and directed by Michael Kirk. Originally broadcast as an episode of the PBS series Frontline on Oct. 20, 2009. 56 min.