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the dinner

Special note: Don’t read about the films recommended prior to seeing them.

I’d recommend watching the 2012 documentary Four Horsemen — immediately — along with the 2017 Oren Moverman feature film The Dinner. I urge the reader to do that post haste, in spite of the fact that the former only received a 67% approval rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes (with an unimpressive “thumbs up” by audiences), and the latter only garnering 51% and (a very low) 17% respectively.

What do people know, cinematic critics or the general public, anyway? Which is a truly germane question in the context of those films putting down institutions and morality we’ve taken for granted as sensible and/or necessary.

It has been noted on Countercurrents (courtesy of the first llink above), that the documentary’s “solution part may not be spot on”… but that shouldn’t deter anyone teaching Economics, Government, History or Sociology from making viewing of the film mandatory. Its primary value lies in its potential for stirring up unprecedented and valuable discussion and action.

Whatever action is taken should be founded on the morality advocated in the Moverman work. It shocked me to see such decent values prized in a product featuring such high profile stars, but The Dinner clearly underscores the importance of a particular point of view which is rarely encountered these days, and it has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening among us, just as the documentary does.

The thing is, we must go far beyond documentation and diverting ourselves with entertainment. We must secure significant reins of decision-making power via an electoral position in the U.S. So that the people getting ripped off (in the documentary) can have a much greater say about their own lives, and hold the potential for swaying all folks to embrace a healthier attitude about our institutions and morality.

The word emergency is in the name of the party I propose to form (in a highly influential U.S. state) because of the urgency which exists vis-a-vis our collective crises. The four, of course, is associated with The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Horse is inserted to remind one and all about all of Mother Earth’s lovely creatures, too often marginalized when something like a People’s Party is advocated. It’s quite a different concept than what present third parties have to offer, and I’d be glad to discuss exactly why if anyone wants to reach out to me.

One of the main characters in The Dinner is running for a gubernatorial seat when we first see him sitting down to dine with family members. I don’t want to give away details prematurely, so I’ll just note that that office — in any state, not just the ones which carry the most weight — can send positive, ongoing ripples nationwide. Can do things in most states unilaterally and virtually overnight which stand to transform life radically for everyone across the board. Details, upon request, but that is not true for other statewide offices.

Most folks tend to back up from electoral politics cynically, citing the necessity of fund raising for mounting an effective campaign on the gubernatorial level. Understandably. But — as per the thrust of the documentary — I submit that money is not required to make a miracle happen.

Not for the first step in pulling off the miracle which is now mandatory.

Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel is a member of the Oxman Collective. She can be reached at aptosnews@gmail.com.

 

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