When I was a little girl, I loved watching shows like Dateline where investigative reporting is front and center. So, it is no surprise that now, at 21, I enjoy a good documentary. And with my recent subsrciption to Netflix, I have been on a documetary watching rampage. So, to advertise and show my opinions, here is my commentary:
This Film is Not Yet Rated
This documentary explores the secret world of film reviews…. I really liked it, except that it made me very angry! There were some interestingly funny interviews and some awkward clips (at one point they do a “thrust count”) – but it isn’t vulgar or crude.
Yes, I rented a documentary called F**k. It SAID it was a film about the origins of the word and the stigma attached to it. It was, in fact, actually a film about comedians complaining why they can’t say f**k on prime time television… I got so annoyed by their implications about people who don’t want to hear/use the word frequently that I stopped it about half-way through.
Who the $%*& is Jackson Pollock?
This was hilarious…. It’s the tale of Teri Horton, a 70-something year old truck driver with a potty mouth, who has spent ten years trying to gain authenticity on a painting she believes was painted by the hands of Jackson Pollock. She had never heard of Pollock until she tried to sell this giant paint-splattered canvas at a garage sale, where – lucky for her – an art teacher saw it and mentioned that it might be highly valuable. She deals with some of the most pompass and egocentric art “experts” who make Simon Cowell look like a Saint, but she fights on…
A product of Jamie Spurlock (Supersize Me), this film investigates everything that is wrong with this country – our greed and its consequences. He depicts the credit card companies as ruthless vultures, which they are, and gives story after story of people who were misled by salespeople and collectors and ended up in a heap of trouble. For me, the film was very personal – as my parents have struggled with debt and loans and so forth for several years (which will soon all be over because our land finally sold!!!). I heard stories so similar to that of my parents – people who went through a rough financial patch and tried to make up for it by charging things on their credit cards… necessities like groceries and utilities… and then couldn’t keep up with the monthly payments.
What really made me upset was when I heard this lady talk about a phone call her father had with a collector from a credit card company. Her father saw that the incoming call was a private number, so when he answered, he said “Hello, who is this?” To which the collector said, “Well, you sure are nosy, aren’t you?” The father was angry from the get-go… he explained to the collector that his wife had been missing for six months, which was why he hasn’t been able to pay. The collector then said, “Well you’re so nosy, you ought to be able to keep up with your wife.” I started to cry at this point because my mom had a similar conversation with a collector a couple of months ago… my mom is not legally obligated to pay off my dad’s credit card, but this one company didn’t seem to care. They called every day after she stopped making payments and, one day, they went too far. The person started asking her how she was paying her bills, where her income was coming from, and so forth… and then he rudely asked “Well, how did you pay for the funeral?” Finally, our lawyer advised us to tell them that we would file for harrassment if they called us again – we did, and they haven’t.
Now, I am not one to believe that people who end up in debt are victims. We are all in control of our money and we are all too trusting with lenders and creditors. Granted, they make it sound so convenient and simple, but it is up to us, as individuals, to protect our assets. Individuals need to own up and take responsibility. But, to know that these credit card companies thrive on people who are trusting and ignorant to the damages of debt makes me so sick to my stomach.
The credit card companies WANT us to fail. They WANT us to miss a payment, they WANT us to borrow more than we can pay back, they WANT us to end up in misery. They claim that they “value the customer,” but if they saw how people in debt actually live, they would see that there is no “value” in a life of debt. This film shows the ruined lives of those in debt and how they may never recover from their financial troubles.
Obviously, I could go on about this forever… but, I won’t. You should just watch it.
Yay for documentaries!!!