Billed as ‘An Inconvenient Truth for economic inequality’, The Divide actually says little that hasn’t already been said. Trickle-down economics failed. The richest one per cent own the same wealth as the bottom ninety. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
But while Katharine Round’s film may lack new ideas, it brings humanity back to a debate often discussed in abstract terms. Her seven subjects, ordinary people from various classes, could have each had a full-length documentary to themselves, and she allows the audience to draw their own parallels between them without any emotional manipulation.
The Divide is a noble attempt to tackle a thorny issue. But The Big Short made all the same points, and that film had Margot Robbie in a bubble bath.
DIRECTOR: Katharine Round
WRITERS: Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson (The Spirit Level)
SYNOPSIS: The Divide tells the story of 7 individuals striving for a better life in modern day US and UK – where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. By plotting these tales together, we uncover how virtually every aspect of our lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor.