The Divide

Director: Katharine Round (2016)

There’s a serious lack of facts in this wooly minded documentary which wants to change the world.

It claims extreme levels of relative inequality within the UK and US are the main driver of social problems such as ill health, substance abuse and crime. Advertising is blamed for stimulating demand for unnecessary excessive consumption.

Archive news footage is mixed with testimony of historians and economists.

There’s a sloppy failure to define poverty or present a single chart or graph. Instead the narrative such as it is relies on emotive anecdotes and opinion to make its point.

Abandoning its starting point of 1928, it briefly raises the spectres of Thatcher and Reagan before landing in the present.

Seven people, including a rapping Scots alcoholic, a Wall Street psychologist and a Sunderland care worker, are used as examples of the unhappiness in both the rich and poor.

Apparently being wealthy does not make one happy, a theory I’d like to put to the test.

Described as a ‘a call to arms’ The Divide is propaganda for change but forgets to offer a solution to the ills it idnetifies.

Without which it amounts to little more than a cry of ‘it’s not fair’ – behaviour I don’t tolerate in my five year old.