Moyers: 'Inequality for All' — New Documentary Starring Robert Reich Exposes the Staggering Inequality in the USA
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/LoloStock
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Bill Moyers speaks to Jacob Kornbluth, director of Inequality for All, a new documentary film about how America’s widening income gap is a threat — not only to the viability of our workforce, but also to the foundations of our democracy. The film features economic analyst and former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich, who uses humor and facts to explain why the consolidation of wealth into the hands of few affects all Americans today.
Kornbluth tells Moyers that his working class roots shaped his decision to make the film: “My friends knew [I was poor] because I got those free lunches in the classroom,” he says. His mother raised a family of four on a teaching salary that, at times, was as low as $9,000 a year. Kornbluth says with Inequality for All he wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the issues from his childhood while elevating the conversation beyond party lines and partisan bickering. “Although [inequality] is a deeply moral question, the argument in the film is that it’s an economic one as well,” he says.
BILL MOYERS: When director Jacob Kornbluth screened his new movie at the Sundance Film Festival, his heart soared from the response, rave reviews, the special jury prize and a deal to distribute the film in theatres across the country. Now you might think it must be all about sex, spies and suspense. But you would be wrong. It's about inequality. Yes, inequality, why the rich are getting richer and you aren't. The film's title is Inequality for All and in it, economic analyst Robert Reich tells us how he got to this difficult, terrible place and what we can do to get out of it. Jacob Kornbluth is the film’s director. He's based in Berkeley, California and has been a fellow at both the Sundance Directing and Screenwriting Labs. A video series he developed for MoveOn.org and The Nation magazine was the inspiration for Inequality for All. Jacob, welcome.
JACOB KORNBLUTH: Thank you, Bill.
BILL MOYERS: It's amazing how you've taken a dry subject like inequality and made it work in a compelling, even exciting and as one reviewer said, chilling way. How did you do it?
JACOB KORNBLUTH: Well, it's funny. After our first screening at Sundance, somebody in the audience stood up and raised their hand and they said, "I'm embarrassed to say this, but I laughed and I cried at a film about the economy. Did anybody else feel this way?" And she turned around sheepishly and half the audience raised their hand. And that was first of all, a very important moment for me, because my goal with this was to make a film that wasn't just for people who love economics or love politics. It was to make sure that everyone, the people who don't normally consume this information, can hopefully have a way into getting this information and understanding it. And that means making it a fun movie to watch on some level.
That doesn't mean it-- to take anything away from how important this topic is or how important it is that, Professor Reich, that we show how he speaks truth to power and really lays out the issue in a way that I feel like is hard-hitting and serious. But on the same time, you want to watch a movie that you can experience as a film. And that was important to me. And I felt that we achieved that and that was a big accomplishment.