10 Great Movies That Criticize the Results of Globalization

5. Trash (2014)

Trash (2014)

In the 21st century, even a dump could become the scene of a great adventure. Stephen Daldry is a director who’s made only a couple of movies, but each of them deserves special attention. An image of violence, organized crime, corruption and extreme poverty stays imprinted on the spectator’s mind from a French-Brazilian drama “City of God” (2002).

Daldry also set his 2014 thriller in the Brazilian slums. “Trash” follows a story of three boys literally living in a dump, who spend their time picking through garbage in search for something of value. When they discover a wallet full of secret codes, they decide to not return it to the local police.

“Trash” remarks on one of the most burning aspects of globalization: consumerism. Highly evolved economics, production, transportation, marketing and popular culture encourage us to throw away everything from the “last season” even if it still serves its purpose. How is it possible that there are thousands of people such as the three boys who can make their living solely out of garbage?


4. Lost in Translation (2003)

lost in translation pic

This movie doesn’t need to be especially introduced, as it has already become a legend with the pink wig, the bed scene and the memorable “Suntory time” line. Even though the Japanese know that Humphrey Bogart’s nickname was Bogie, they don’t understand aging actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray) a bit, and the same can be said about the young Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). They are both thrust into a culture that is so different from their own, and it helps them build an unlikely friendship.

The leitmotiv in Sofia Coppola’s story related to globalization is working in an interconnected world. Bob, as an American, is shooting a campaign for the Japanese market. Newlywed Charlotte is locked up in an empty hotel room, waiting for her hardworking husband to come back.

Modern people sacrifice a lot while chasing success or happiness. This movie raises an intense question – what do we do in-between? Who do we be, what do we believe, and last but not least, how do we endure the hardship?


3. The Big Short (2015)

Globalization has many faces and the financial world is definitely one of them. A two-hour long adaptation of the Michael Lewis book is an attempt to explain what exactly led to the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. “The Big Short”, directed by Adam McKay, is inspired by the previous success of “Too Big to Fail” (2011), a movie examining the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers bank.

Although it is hard for an average spectator to understand all the difficult financial terms, such as credit default swap or synthetic CDO, “The Big Short” is a beautiful illustration of the terrible consequences of interlinked global economy. If the US falls, so will the rest of the borderless world.

And of course, there’s a bunch of smart-alecks who were able to foresee it and prosper from the situation. Heavy metal fan and a commander-in-chief Michael Burry (Christian Bale), straightforward businessman Mark Baum (Steve Carell), relaxed and retired Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), and two lucky rookies, Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) and Charlie Geller (John Magaro). And of course, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) with his pompous looks and behavior.


2. Men, Women & Children (2014)

Men, Women & Children (2014)

Jason Reitman’s recent movie is sometimes referred to as the “American Beauty of the 21st century.” “Men, Women & Children” is a subtle meditation on the fact that the Internet changed everything about the way we perceive the world today. How do we navigate ourselves through the Gargantuan body of virtual reality and be a good parent, a good child, or a good partner?

The movie also raises awareness to other issues of the modern society: anorexia, addiction to porn, infidelity, suicides. A resonant scene is the one where Alison (Elena Kampouris) proclaims her pregnancy to Brandon (Will Peltz) via SMS while he is standing next to her, or the scenes in which Patricia (Jennifer Garner) alienates her own daughter Brandy (Kaitlyn Dever) in the hope that she keeps her safe. However, the escape into the virtual reality will never be a solution to loneliness, doubt or fear.


1. Toni Erdmann (2016)


“Are you even human?” A heart-stirring sensation at last year’s Cannes, directed by Maren Ade, is a real probe into lives of career people in the 21st century. An elderly man, Winfried Conradi (Peter Simonischek), has only one passion – indulging himself in pranks and funny costumes. When his dog dies, he decides that it is the right time to use them to interfere with the life of his daughter, Ines (Sanda Hüller), who works her head off at a multinational company.

“Toni Erdmann” is a vivid reflection of what globalization causes to human beings. Relations between people become a matter of utility, personal feelings and urges must be swallowed, and one’s time precisely arranged – and for what? Next year you would be promoted to work in a Tokyo office, doing the same thing all over again.

Ines comes to the moment of realization through a string of bizarre events, including the performance of a Whitney Houston song and a naked party. The hug scene in the park is the first real expression of humanity and emotion from her.

Author Bio: Ali Oravcova is a young journalist located in Kosice, Slovakia. She indulges herself in movies, poetry and visual arts. Her passion is to discover beauty where others see none.