A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film... See full summary »
A greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film continues to contrast the ironic differences between the lives of those who work to grow the wheat and the life of the man who dabbles in its sale for profit. Written by
James Meek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Populist/Progressive propaganda directed by D. W. Griffith about a wealthy commodities speculator who is indifferent to the suffering caused by the price distortions following his monopolization of wheat. Comments of the other reviewers are a bit harsh, its only a 14-minute film so it can only do so much in the way of character development or plot. While it is creepy to see Griffith outflank later Communist propaganda to the left, you still have to admire the cinematic achievement. Griffith is using a comparative editing technique generally attributed to Eisenstein, but sixteen years before Eisenstein's first film, so the short is a must-see for cinema students for that reason alone. For the rest of us, it is an engaging fourteen minutes that delivers powerful images, notwithstanding its questionable footing in economic theory.
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