In this hard-hitting but humorous documentary, director Jamie Johnson takes the exploration of wealth that he began in Born Rich one step further. The One Percent, refers to the tiny ...
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In this hard-hitting but humorous documentary, director Jamie Johnson takes the exploration of wealth that he began in Born Rich one step further. The One Percent, refers to the tiny percentage of Americans who control nearly half the wealth of the U.S. Johnson's thesis is that this wealth in the hands of so few people is a danger to our very way of life. Johnson captures his story through personal interviews with Robert Reich, Adnan Khashoggi, Bill Gates Sr., and Steve Forbes, during which both Johnson's and his subjects' knowledge and humor shine. And he's not afraid to butt heads with Milton Friedman, the economist who coined the term "the trickledown effect." He also shows how the other half lives, using real-world examples of the wealth gap: he takes a tour of a dilapidated housing project in Chicago, rides around with an enlightened taxi driver, and sees the human toll of the unfair economics of the Florida sugar industry. Johnson's film is at its most powerful when it reveals ...Written by
The One Percent greatly illustrates of the effects of wealth inequality in America and how it can damage the American economy.
Unfortunately, it doesn't do this by exploring the issues in-depth and crafting a well-made film. It simply serves as an illustration of what you can do just because you were born into wealth.
Jamie Johnson behaves like a smug, entitled, self-righteous, self-centered trust fund baby. Because of his wealth and influence, he is able to get interviews with influential scholars, entrepreneurs, and advocates that may not be available to other filmmakers. Instead of being knowledgeable, doing research, and asking engaging questions, he squanders these opportunities by engaging his interviewees with the investigative fervor of a 7 year old doing a class project. Seriously, he has one go-to followup question/remark, and hardly ever explores or follows up with anything that isn't incredibly vague. If a monkey would have conducted these interviews, the film wouldn't have been markedly different.
The other half of the film is him pestering his family and personal wealth adviser and their reactions to his immature entitled behavior. Picture Jamie as a 15 year old actress barging in the room to show off her princess outfit and the amazing dance moves that she was going to do for her school play, and you get a basic idea of the family dynamic portrayed in the film.
Jamie Johnson was able to make this film through his wealth and connections to wealth, not because he could make the best documentary on the subject, but because he had the means to do so. What this unintentionally illustrates is that wealth gives you the power to do things that others can't do, or, at the very least, have to work extremely hard for.
Despite the gross incompetence, the film does deserve credit for making the point, even though it didn't make it in the way it intended to make it.
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