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SYNOPSIS:
In the collapse of the Argentinean economy, many ordinary Argentineans faced the loss of their life savings as well as finding themselves locked out the factories where they had previously worked. Subsequently many factories re-opened as collective enterprises managed democratically by workers, with everyone paid the same amount. This documentary follows some of these workers as they battle to have their "expropriation" ratified by the courts in the lead-up to Argentina's national election.

Review by Jake Wilson:
Chances to catch history in the making are rare, so it's not hard to understand the excitement of Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein with the potentially dry subject of this documentary - the collectively run factories set up in Argentina in the wake of their country's economic collapse. While it's anyone's guess how far this quasi-anarchist approach to production points towards the future of the planet, these recent struggles are of obvious interest to anyone pondering the workable alternatives to "globalisation".

The problem remains: how far can the nuts-and-bolts of political or industrial structures be compellingly shown in cinema, a medium that thrives on the concrete and personal? Lewis and Klein are journalists rather than artists, and much of their heroic imagery is obvious and familiar: molten metal pouring in factories, or cops clashing with protesters while a singer croons "I come to give you my heart". The romantic outsider's view of the country is no doubt superficial in certain respects - at worst, it's a radicalised What I Did On My Holidays report, complete with snapshots of the excited duo standing in the corner at meetings or chattering on their mobile phones.

Despite this, the film is never less than intelligent, raising a host of questions that cry out for further discussion. The relation between politics and religion (or atheism) is touched on but not explored; a running argument between a mother and daughter dramatises the tension between those who distrust all governments and those who long for the days of extensive public works and an inspirational "national project". Oddly enough, I would have liked more talking heads, offering intellectual analysis from a wider range of viewpoints: surely the new Argentinean political movements have spawned their own home-grown theorists? But whatever the quibbles, anyone sympathetic with the political viewpoint presented here will find much to admire in the energy and optimism of both the filmmakers and their subjects, a tonic for those who find their spirits flagging in whatever battles they have to fight.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TAKE, THE (M)
(Canada)

CAST: Documentary with Bill Clinton, Gustavo Cordera, Freddy Espinoza, Nestor Kirchner, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Carlos Menem

PRODUCER: Silva Basmajian, Avi Lewis, Naomi Lewis

DIRECTOR: Avi Lewis

SCRIPT: Naomi Klein

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Ellam

EDITOR: Not credited

MUSIC: David Wall

PRODUCTION DESIGN: N/a

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Gil Scrine Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 18, 2005

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: AV Channel

VIDEO RELEASE: January 11, 2006







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