Wal-Mart movie: A look beyond the low prices | AspenTimes.com

Wal-Mart movie: A look beyond the low prices

Carbondale will be among the first towns in the country later this month to screen a documentary that makes a scathing pitch about the havoc Wal-Mart wreaks on society.Local activist Bob Schultz ponied up the funds for a premiere screenings of “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” by director and producer Robert Greenwald.The film looks at Wal-Mart’s effects on everyone from Chinese laborers making cheap goods that the store sells to mom-and-pop businesses that cannot compete against the retailing giant.A review in The New York Times notes that one former Wal-Mart employee recounted how management would make a game of examining Main Street businesses and guessing how long they would survive after the retailer opened.Schultz is a longtime activist in civic causes in the midvalley. He helped lead the charge against the Crystal River Marketplace with a big-box anchor a couple of years ago in Carbondale. But he insisted he has no hidden agenda in hosting the screening of Greenwald’s film.”I really didn’t want it to turn into a political thing,” Schultz said. There will be no speeches, he promised, and “we won’t be trying to storm Wal-Mart.” He just believes local residents will be interested in what Greenwald unearthed.”Americans have traditionally been suspicious of big things,” he said.Greenwald obviously wants to change Wal-Mart’s corporate practices. Schultz hopes the movie spurs people to examine their purchasing practices as Christmas approaches.The movie will be shown Monday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall. Immediately following there will be an informal discussion about the effect Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers are having on western Colorado and the country.The Carbondale screening is one of 3,000 taking place across the country Nov. 13-19.Greenwald has built a reputation for thought-provoking documentaries. His recent work includes “Outfoxed: Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” which looked at Rupert Murdoch’s expanding media empire and its effect on society, and “Uncovered: The War on Iraq.”More on his latest film can be found at http://www.WalMartMovie.com.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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