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Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind

A meditation on 400 years
By ROB NELSON  |  November 20, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars
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Ludlow massacre monument

Boston-based scholar and filmmaker John Gianvito’s minimalist ode to American activism is rare among lefty documentaries for allowing you to draw your own conclusions at your own pace. Indeed, the film is not so much entertainment or education as it is a meditation or a prayer. Lengthy, beautifully composed shots of gravestones and historical monuments (including many in Massachusetts) encourage us to mourn fallen heroes as well as to recognize our own vulnerability to larger forces — as represented in part by the corporate logos that sneak their way into Gianvito’s frame (as they do into most every other public space). Profit Motive is not for everyone. Inspired by the work of Howard Zinn, it spans some 400 years of history, subverting its genre’s obsession with topicality and reminding us that neither our nation’s injustice nor the struggle against it is remotely new. 57 minutes | MFA: November 29, 30; December 1, 8, 13
Related: Open city, A world of cinema, Mobilize against the war on Saturday, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Howard Zinn, John Gianvito
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