Megamall (Vera Aronow, 2009): USA

Reviewed by Hrair Panossian. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2009.

Malls. We have all been to one, spend a lot of cash or just hang out. Even though we are in the middle of a huge financial crisis all over the world, we seem to forget this and we shop more than before. But what is so attractive with a mall? All your shopping needs at one place? The documentary displays what happens when money and power takes over politics and took over 10 years to film and make.

In the documentary Magamall , we see the fight between the people of Rockland county (the smallest county in New York) and the Pyramid companies (a big mall-building company). We see how the mall starts to build, how it is larger than planned, and hell breaks loose.
The people of the county don’t want them to build the mall because of all the traffic it would bring and the enormous effect on nature. Meanwhile, the leaders of Rockland doesn’t seen to care about what the people want, maybe they are being given money to keep their mouths shut. When Pyramid’s lawyer goes to the town meetings he gets laughed at when he tries to make them reconsider and is constantly threatened by the people. When they built it larger than promised it became the 2nd largest mall in the entire US. We also see how the other malls in Rockland and many other stores has to close because of their poor income.

Like many other films involving politics, we see how rotten it could get if it is run by bad people. The whole point of making such a movie is to make us realize how far a person or company can go with money, power and most importantly politics on its side. This is one thing that I realized during the movie and was shocked that it really could happen anywhere and to anyone. I think the editing in the movie was insufficient, that there should’ve been more breaks, and much less people yelling and chanting, because it ran through the entire film. I’m sure that they wanted to show how the people were really mad but you can’t take 40mins of yelling, that’s simply too much. It could’ve been without the shaky cameras as well, but it is a documentary and that is maybe what you have to expect.

The producer of the movie wants us to see how we are in a spenders society and that, as said before, money + power = politics. The movie was all in all quite entertaining but without breaks, and too much shouting and yelling that almost gave me a headache. I would only recommend this movie for the people that are into politics, or want to see how our “officials” deal with these type of questions. Maybe “Paseo Nuevo” was bigger than planned? =)
I wouldn’t want to watch this again, and I wouldn’t recommend t to my friends, but if you’re interested in it, why not?

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