7.8/10
1,125
16 user 27 critic

The Take (2004)

Unrated | | Documentary | 18 March 2005 (Italy)
The film in not about auto-parts workers in suburban Buenos Aires, but about workers of a ceramic floors factory in Neuquen, several hundred miles southward, in Argentinian Patagonia.

Director:

Avi Lewis

Writer:

Naomi Klein

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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Matilde Adorno Matilde Adorno ... Herself - Worker
Michel Camadessus Michel Camadessus ... Himself
Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage)
Gustavo Cordera Gustavo Cordera ... Himself (singer) (as Bersuit)
Freddy Espinoza Freddy Espinoza ... Himself (president of La Forja)
Raul Godoy Raul Godoy ... Himself
Néstor Kirchner Néstor Kirchner ... Himself
Naomi Klein ... Herself (also narrator)
Avi Lewis ... Himself (also narrator)
Celia Martinez Celia Martinez ... Herself
Carlos Saúl Menem Carlos Saúl Menem ... Himself (as Carlos Menem)
Lalo Paret Lalo Paret ... Himself (activist)
Juan Domingo Perón ... Himself (archive footage)
Jorge Rimondi Jorge Rimondi ... Himself (Judge)
Anoop Singh Anoop Singh ... Himself (Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department)
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Storyline

In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act - the take - has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head. Armed only with slingshots and an abiding faith in shop-floor democracy, the workers face off against the bosses, bankers and a whole system that sees their beloved factories as nothing more than scrap metal for sale. With The Take, director Avi Lewis, one of Canada's most outspoken journalists, and writer Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller No Logo, champion a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Occupy. Resist. Produce.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | Argentina

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 March 2005 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Übernahme See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Raises More Questions than it Answers
13 March 2005 | by pdx3525See all my reviews

The collapse of Argentina's peso in 2001 threw millions out of work and plunged what had been one of Latin America's most prosperous countries in the 1990s into the kind of economic depression not seen in the United States since the 1930s. Four years later thousands of ruined businesses remain closed. In a handful of cases, though, workers occupied and reopened shut factories, health clinics, and schools as employee-owned and operated- cooperatives.

How Argentine workers did this is a terrific story. Unfortunately, "The Take", a film directed and narrated by anti-globalization activists Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis raises more questions than it answers.

According to Klein and Lewis, Argentine workers now run more than 200 companies employing 15,000 people. To explain how this happened, the movie documents a campaign by unemployed machinists to put a casting parts plant back in business. Along the way, we see examples of other successful cooperatives, including a shop of seamstresses, a ceramic tile manufacturer, and a tractor factory.

The new worker owners featured in "The Take" are earnest and enthusiastic. They are especially moving when describing the effects of years of unemployment and how their lives have improved for the better after returning to work. No one, though, tells us basic facts about these companies, such as whether wages and benefits have gone up or down under cooperatives, how the worker-owned companies pay for their raw materials, who buys their products, and if they make a profit. These are not idle points, as any owner – Argentine worker or multinational plutocrat -- knows.

How does the "The Take" fill up its time? In between interviews with cooperative members about the glories of worker control we get lectures about the lack of differences among candidates in the 2003 Argentine presidential election, the pointlessness of voting, and the failings of the International Monetary Fund. We're also treated to a long slow motion sequence of a street riot in Buenos Aires – complete with Mercedes Sosa soundtrack -- that depicts heroic workers and the equally heroic Klein and Lewis calling each other on their cell phones.

There's a good documentary to be made about what has happened to Argentina's economy and its workers. Klein and Lewis, however, take the easy way out and give us slogans and mushy analysis that leave the audience skeptical and suspicious.

4/10


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