The Divide (12A)

The Divide (12A)

Directed by Katherine Round
Picturehouse, Liverpool
31st May 2016

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

The Divide is a hard-hitting documentary about the huge impact of financial inequality on individuals and society in general.

Inspired by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book: The Spirit Level; director Katherine Round has used it to embellish facts and statistics from that publication.

The film relates the stories of seven people drawn from different social situations from the US and Britain.

What appears to be the case, for even those who have wealth in abundance, is that they do not have the same degree of abundance in happiness.

In contrast to the’high flying’ chief executive, you have the ludicrous situation of Keith, who has been imprisoned in America for 25 years for possessing a gram of marijuana (due to the equally inhumane ‘three strikes and you’re out’ law).

In the US you are now having wealthy people, already living in gated communities, establishing their own gated communities within the gated community they are already living in. Laughable or what?

On the other side of the coin young, and not so young, people are finding it increasingly difficult to secure enough money to take out a mortgage to buy a house. Such is the state of affairs it is estimated that over the next decade or so in Britain a million more young people will stay at home with their parents than has previously been the case.

The Divide, a low budget, crowdfunded project, is not a simplistic diatribe of us and them, it is more subtle than that. Instead Round has produced a film which is humanistic and far reaching in its scope. The debates raised need to be continued in many ways.

But sadly my belief is that the divide between those who possess lots of money and capital and those who have very little or nothing at all will continue to grow and grow.

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