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True Cost Movie Just Ruined Your Whole Week
Documentaries are awesome. Full stop. That’s all there is to that.
[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00Y1HD3RK]Just recently I watched Winter on Fire and it opened my mind to a whole world of chaos I didn’t know even existed. So that was good… nice even. But not really life changing personally for me. I now might when a few extra rounds of Trivia Pursuit… maybe. But otherwise… not much. But today I have a movie that will change your life. Guaranteed. Like, I totally promise… if you woke up this morning, and you were thinking… you know what? I think I’d like to completely change my life today?! If that is you? Then watch this movie, and you can mark that whole change thing off your to-do list. Promise. It will just happen. Watch this – just watch this 2 minute trailer and even this short bit of video will start the jacking with process forthwith.
This film is so good, and so much a virus for your brain, that as I was watching it, I was cognizant of the fact that I was wearing a $4.50 bargain basement t-shirt (that I adore) from Old Navy… and all I could think about was that I wanted it off. I literally had the thought go through my mind regularly while watching that I needed to dump all my clothes in my closet in a tree shredder, and to go to the nearest tailor and have all new clothes made… completely from the ground up. All made in America, by the guy standing in front of me.
There was a shot in this movie that gave me the shivers. A lot of them actually, but this one shot really grabbed a hold of me and didn’t let go. Here, let me show it to you…
This picture is intense on it’s own. A pile of work, and a kid hunched over a machine, working and working and working. Pretty bad photo. But that wasn’t what pole-axed me personally. So, I recently was in the Philippines, with Compassion International (whom I work for as the Product Manager over all the web stuff) and was visiting with one of the children our family sponsors. And while I was with Edmar, and his family, I got all excited because Edmar’s father had several jobs assembling backpacks.
They were the sort of backpacks that you’d buy at Walmart for $19.95. The flimsy small kind for elementary school students. And what he and his wife were doing were putting on all the zippers for the backpacks. When I saw this I immediately thought, wow, great! What a wonderful job for this family. But then I heard that not only did he work at factory doing this sort of work during the day, but he also did piece work from another factory at home in the evening. And not only that, but Edmar’s mom made kabobs for Edmar’s dad (Pedro) to sell during his breaks at the factory each day.
I called a halt when I heard that. I said, “Stop stop… can you guys tell me when it is exactly that you sleep? What does your average day look like?” And so Edmar’s mother began telling me how it worked. “In the evening I work on food to sell the next day at the factory until 1 or 2 am. All the while Edmar does piece work from this other factory to turn in by the end of the month. In the morning we get up at 5 am, and get ready for school and work. Pedro goes to the factory and works from 7am until 7pm. And we have dinner and then do it all over again.”
I was really floored by that when I heard their schedule. But was only in the global context of True Cost that I realized that this was my fault. Their striving and languishing day in and day out was because I shopped for bargain basement deals. I don’t give it a single thought to figure out whether my children’s backpacks assembled in sweatshops or not because in my mind, everything is made with robots. Robots know everything and build everything. Because there is so much stuff, and that there are so many different clothes available to purchase, it can’t all be made by humans, could it? And when I saw this section of the movie I realized, yeah, really… humans make all of this stuff. Everything. And they work crazy hours. And it impacts their family time. It impacts their lives directly. And ultimately, they get paid nothing. Basically zero. Just barely enough to keep their heads collectively above water. Barely.
Does that make sense? It just never really clicked in my head. The cost of my bargain hunting and my massive appetite for unlimited selection and dramatically cheap products. This movie will wreck you. It should wreck you anyway… otherwise you have zero soul and you need an intervention.
The sights and the sounds of this movie are just something. But probably the most revolting and disgusting images are when True Cost juxtaposes our Black Friday chaos with the chaos of the lives that created the things we are killing each other for. It is truly an eye-opening experience. It makes me never want to shop deals ever again. It makes me want to avoid Black Friday sales from now on. It makes me sick to my stomach to consider the pain and harsh treatment my life has caused others.
And how stupid do these hardcore Fox conservatives look when they say that these jobs revolutionize their lives and give them a leg up. How dumb do we look for abusing these other cultures and people for our own pleasure and benefit. It’s really maddening to get this full picture finally.
Regardless, I cannot recommend this movie enough. Find it. And watch it. And then come back and talk to me about it. Pronto. Thank you, that is all.