"Mardi Gras: Made in China" and the Power of Capitalism
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The paper discusses how the relative power of the Chinese versus Americans is depicted in its most extreme terms in the movie "Mardi Gras: Made in China" as the perspective shifts from a sweatshop in the Chinese city of Fuzhou to the crowds at a New Orleans celebration of Mardi Gras. The paper addresses the system of capitalism where the core nations such as the United States and Europe are able to use their power to demand that other nations supply them with cheap goods, the cost of these goods suppressed through low wages and lax environmental regulations. The paper considers the questions raised by this film that include how some nations come to be in the core while others are marginalized, and why the citizens of some cultures find oppressing people of other nations to be acceptable.
From the Paper:"Sometimes we can learn the most important things about our world by attending to the smallest things, things that seem absolutely trivial and inconsequential. Like the cheap, gaudy strings of glued-together beads that volunteers toss from the Mardi Gras floats in Mobile and New Orleans and even the casino stages of Las Vegas. If we have gave been to any of these venues, we have probably held up our hands and tried to snare some of this ersatz bling then taken it home, draped it over a bedpost or a hook on the back of the bathroom door, to shift it at some point to an old shoebox at the top of a closet, and then, later still, to toss it in the garbage or the Goodwill donation bin. And in all that time most of us never bother to stop and think where those beads came from - or what the true cost of them was.
"Watching the movie Mardi Gras: Made in China in conjunction with readings for this class make one stop and ask fundamental questions about the processes whereby natural materials are extracted from the earth, shipped to a place where workers can be paid terribly low wages and given few if any of the safety and environmental protections of workers in First World nations, and then sold cheaply to residents of those First World nations, who treat them with a lack of interest and importance that arises from the cheap monetary price attached to them."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Conley, Dalton. You May Ask Yourself. New York: Norton. 2008
- Mardi Gras: Made in China. Dir. David Redmon. Carnivalesque Film, 2008. iTunes download.
Cite this Film Review:
"Mardi Gras: Made in China" and the Power of Capitalism (2013, May 17) Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/film-review/mardi-gras-made-in-china-and-the-power-of-capitalism-153290/
""Mardi Gras: Made in China" and the Power of Capitalism" 17 May 2013. Web. 29 November. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/film-review/mardi-gras-made-in-china-and-the-power-of-capitalism-153290/>