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The Take
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Take More at IMDbPro »

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Eye-opening and Hopeful

Author: dan_sprocket from OTTAWA, CANADA
14 November 2004

This movie helps progressive people address one of the main criticisms of the right and capitalists: what would you do differently if capitalism and globalization is so bad?

Argentina was a country where public utilities had been sold off and money fled the country. Factories were left empty, owing millions of dollars in taxes to various levels of government. The workers thought: we don't have jobs, so we can't buy things for our families. There are no jobs, because people aren't buying things for their families. So they broke the cycle, and with government approval (eventually) occupied the factories and just started producing items for themselves and their neighbors. The co-operative/collectivist movement in Argentina flourished.

The movie shows it was far from easy, and there are many hurdles left to overcome for this country and its people. But it's a hopeful message that if you buy locally, use locally produced services and products produced "locally", you create a viable economic cycle that enriches everybody. You may not have $40 microwaves produced someplace else on the other side of the world, but instead you get a quality product produced by your neighbour, that doesn't require the expense and waste of trans-global shipment. Then, the makers of cheap microwaves will be forced to pay their workers more in order to create a local/national market for their products, rather than using slave labour and shipping the products overseas to the "first world".

Okay, I'm off my soap box. Well done movie with real emotion and appeal.

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26 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

The Take is a film about *true democracy*.

10/10
Author: greenelephant888 from Canada
23 December 2004

The Take is perhaps one of the most inspirational films I had ever seen. It provides an example to all of us - in terms of what we could accomplish if only we came together, if only we joined hands like those grandmothers in the streets of Argentina, like those workers who took production and decision making into their own hands. True democracy has to start from the bottom up, it has to start in the family, in the school, in the workplace, in the neighborhood and expand outward from there. Only when decisions in *all of these* social settings are made democratically, based on majority vote, only then, can our society begin to call itself democratic. This is currently not the case in the United States. It is not the case in the US family, nor in US schools, and no where is it more untrue than in the US workplace. Currently in the United States practically all decisions are made by those in power, by those with the money, and enforced on those underneath. When somebody gets fired from a workplace, do all the workers get together and vote on whether the person should be kept or fired? Do the children in the US schools have any democratic power to decide how things are done and organized? Do wives have equal power with their husbands in the American family? So how can a society that is so undemocratic claim to be a model of democracy for others? It is unfortunate that in the US democratic participation is limited to electing individuals to power, and is never directly related to policy issues. Our society would be much more democratic if we voted like specifically on the questions at hand both at the national and at the local level: REFERENDUM: Should US troops remain in Iraq? Should gay marriage be legal? Etc. All the questions that are most important to us, why don't we just vote specifically on them? The movie about Argentine factory workers has a message about democracy: "We vote often, that way we get used to loosing". If we were to vote more often, and to vote specifically on the issues that are important to us, then we would have a true participatory democratic society. So the Take, in my opinion is *a very important* film, and is something that all workers around the world and all people should learn from.

Some other comments I have about the Take are as follows. -By taking over Argentine factories, the workers are benefiting not only themselves and their families, but also their communities and Argentina as a whole, by contributing to economic recovery. I think this is a very important point. - It is unclear to me how the workers were able to make the factories profitable again, despite the economic crush. Because generally, when an economic collapse takes place and people lose jobs and savings, the demand for new goods declines, and that is probably why the factory owners were forced to shut down their factories in the first place. So how are the workers able to sell off their final products after taking over production? Is there some kind of barter system in place? Are the workers getting their inputs domestically instead of by importing them? I wish the film explained this. -The issue of private property is raised in the film. Should people really have the right to own stuff if they are not making good use of it? I mean, like if you are a kid with a toy, and you aren't playing with your toy, and the kids next to you want to borrow your toys because they actually want to play together, shouldn't you just give it to them, since you are not using it anyway? I mean why is the law on the side of those who want to keep their toys to themselves and do nothing with it?

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

an above-average doc on a great subject

8/10
Author: dubesor from Vancouver, Canada
4 April 2005

I saw this on television (CBC) yesterday night and thought it was a good documentary. I had heard of the film and its topic before and was deeply intrigued. Having also read Klein's "No Logo", you could say I had more interest in this than most. Lewis and Klein move swiftly in telling their tale of Argentinian workers' plight for dignity and labour. A balanced interplay of rhetoric that appeals to the intellect and the emotions will win over many of the viewers. The length is such that the film does not become boring or drawn-out and good editing judgment focuses on relevant segments. Regardless of their take on these events in Argentina, I think everyone has something to learn from this film. A project like this gives me faith in our country's National Film Board ... also thanks to CBC Newsworld for not fearing to air this several times (even though late at night).

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The real "Yes We Can"

10/10
Author: Max Prodanov from Sofia, Bulgaria
12 July 2009

This documentary is the real "Yes, We Can", only instead of an empty political statement it's a true demonstration of "How You Can" make a real change.

When someone tells you that an enterprise cannot run without a boss and a hierarchy of power, don't believe them. Just let them watch "The Take" (La Toma) and see how it's possible to replace the "hierarchy of power" with a "network of cooperation". At first, I didn't believe it myself, but now I know it's possible. Imagine workers cooperating and taking decisions by voting, effectively managing a successful enterprise. Even if the people are inexperienced at first, even if they disagree sometimes, things can be worked out.

"The Take" simply shows something that Capitalism says cannot exist, something that's supposedly impossible: people cooperating for a common purpose, dividing profits equally, taking decisions democratically and managing the enterprise successfully. No leaders, no power struggles, just cooperation. The incentive is the common success, not just personal gain.

"The Take" is even more topical today in the so-called Global financial crisis, because it poses the question: "what should happen to a failed business? Should it be bailed out by the people only to repeat the same mistakes again? Should it be liquidated and sold for scrap metal, leaving the workers without jobs? Or should everything start anew, but this time as a democratic cooperation between workers?" So next time a business fails and the government decides to take your money to save a corporation, know that you have the right to say "NO, I deserve to be compensated. Your factory will do nicely."

I simply cannot express how inspiring and eye-opening this documentary is, you just have to see it for yourself.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good news for once

9/10
Author: wandereramor from Canada
29 August 2011

For folks of the leftist persuasion there's not really been a lot of cheerful stuff in the news for the past decade or three. The trouble with normal, as they say, is that it always gets worse. Most political documentaries are the same way -- something terrible is happening, the polemical narrator assures us, and other than the go-out-and-do-something last ten minutes of the film things are kind of universally bleak.

The Take opposes all of that, and is the rare piece of media in which the revolution is not just a vague series of values but an actual practise, made up mostly of hard work and disagreement, but moving forward in a positive direction nonetheless. Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein aren't the slickest filmmakers in the world, but they know enough to get out of the way and let the incredible story before them unfold. One of the few documentaries -- one of the few films period -- that I've left feeling genuine hope, this is a must-see for anyone who believes (or wants to believe) that another world is possible.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

dump the bosses!

10/10
Author: coweatman
23 January 2005

the worker owned factories in argentina are one of the best developments in recent history. i think the most interesting part of it is that people who are not ostensibly "political" have responded to a crisis by instituting something, spontaneously, that looks like it is within spitting distance of anarchosyndicalism. joe hill would be proud.

i saw this film as part of the touring show for the lost film festival, and it was easily the highlight of the show. I'm eagerly awaiting this to come to a local theater so i can see it again, and i'm going to try to get as many people as possible to go.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

End Results of Globalization, and What to Do About It!

10/10
Author: protek22 from United States
10 January 2007

The Take is one of the most informative economic and political documentaries currently available. The issues Ms. Klein and her colleagues chronicle, are of extreme importance for anyone seeking to gain a factual understanding of today's most pressing economic and political issues. Argentina had been a poster child for the globalization and neoliberal economic policies promoted by the U.S., the World Bank, and the IMF. While these policies are still being widely hailed by the mainstream media as the wave of the future, their truly destructive nature is actually understood by very few. This film allows the viewer to witness the catastrophic economic and political challenges that brought Argentina to it's knees, and the inspired solution implemented by Argentinian workers, as they rallied from the depths of economic and political despair, to redeem themselves from the clutches of corrupt politicians, and global financiers.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

a message all of us need to hear..

8/10
Author: leerufong from Taiwan
28 December 2008

namely that there ARE options available to us all.

8/10 for the message of hope, commiseration for our working/unemployed Argentine brothers and sisters.

6/10 for the quality of the film.

there is so much unhappiness among the people of the world that ARE working, let alone those suffering war, poverty/sickness. Billions of workers' tax dollars bailing out banks and corporations, as decisions by the politicians of canada and the u.s.?!? You need to wake up if you do not realize the intent behind such policies. Why do so many people continue to accept idiotic and heartless "bosses" in the workplace? Their positions of power are supported by fear, and violence. We NEED movies like this at the very least to show us all the glimmer of light at the end of OUR long, dark tunnel..

the direct democracy worked towards by the people filmed here, is the democracy i believe in. for me the most important lesson here is that the workers succeeded with the support of their Community.

great things are possible when we work together.

Occupy.Resist.Produce!

Horizontalidad!!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Inspirational

7/10
Author: John Seal from Oakland CA
1 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Which side are you on, boys, which side are you on? Count me as on the side of the workers, who proved that 'cooperativism' can succeed in Argentina without the unnecessary robber barons, corrupt politicos, and international bankers we find parasitically attached to our western 'democracies'. This inspiring film documents the movement that saw workers seize control of abandoned factories after their nation's IMF sponsored economic collapse. You'll be hard pressed to choose who to dislike the most: the repellent and oily Carlos Menem, who carried water for the IMF whilst bankrupting his nation; the smug oligarch who confidently predicts that the president will soon return 'his' factory to him; or the pocket fascists of the local police who, as usual, always intervene on the side of capital. What cannot be denied is the amazing strength of the workers themselves, who against all odds have seized the tools of production and made them work for the people. Three cheers! And the film ain't bad, either.

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Argentina's new way

9/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
23 August 2013

Argentina has long been known as the land of the tango, and saw the growth of a large middle class under Juan Perón. Then, the South American country saw a complete economic collapse in 2001. "The Take", a documentary by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein, focuses briefly on the neoliberal policies that caused the collapse, but is mostly about how Argentina's workers have resisted. A large number of workers have simply taken over the abandoned factories and formed cooperatives. I guess that I would've liked the documentary better had Lewis and Klein mentioned the progressive governments that were sweeping South America in the 2000s and how they were also a reaction to globalization. But otherwise it's a very good look at Latin America's resistance to neoliberalism. Another documentary focusing on South American resistance is Oliver Stone's "South of the Border", featuring interviews with Hugo Chávez, Rafael Correa, and other leftist leaders.

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