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The Take

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Documentary - Politics

DVD: Available Now
Consumer Advice:

Moderate course language, Moderate violence

Run Time:
87 minutes

English subtitles


Avi Lewis and Naomi Klien


Matilde Adorno, Michel Camadessus and Bill Clinton

Web Links:

Official website
7.5/10 IMDb

Avi Lewis discussing The Take at the Melbourne International Film Festival; Avi Lewis presenting the 'Docos and Social Change' forum in Melbourne; Fire the Director: The Making of The Take; Gustavo Benedetto: iPresent! Trailer



Directors comm
The Take is a political thriller that turns the globalization debate on its head. The film follows Argentina’s radical new movement of occupied businesses: groups of workers who are claiming the country’s bankrupt workplaces and running them without bosses.

In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave.   All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act —The Take — has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head.

In the wake of Argentina’s dramatic economic collapse in 2001, Latin America’s most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. The Forja auto plant lies dormant until its former employees take action. They’re part of a daring new movement of workers who are occupying bankrupt businesses and creating jobs in the ruins of the failed system.  

But Freddy, the president of the new worker’s co-operative, and Lalo, the political powerhouse from the Movement of Recovered Companies, know that their success is far from secure. Like every workplace occupation, they have to run the gauntlet of courts, cops and politicians who can either give their project legal protection or violently evict them from the factory.

The story of the workers’ struggle is set against the dramatic backdrop of 
a crucial presidential election in Argentina, in which the architect of the economic collapse, Carlos Menem, is the front-runner. His cronies, the former owners, are circling: if he wins, they’ll take back the companies that the movement has worked so hard to revive.  Armed only with slingshots and an abiding faith in shop-floor democracy, the workers face off against the bosses, bankers and a whole system that sees their beloved factories as nothing more than scrap metal for sale.

With The Take, director Avi Lewis, one of Canada’s most outspoken journalists, and writer Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller No Logo, champion a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century. But what shines through in the film is the simple drama of workers’ lives and their struggle: the demand for dignity and the searing injustice of dignity denied.


Margaret Pomeranz AT THE MOVIES
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David Stratton AT THE MOVIES
 David interviews director Avi Lewis


A classic victory for the little guy NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


Hard, sharp and provocative THE GLOBE AND MAIL


...a compelling and suspenseful cautionary tale documenting the consequences of globalization..Universal in its implications LOS ANGELES TIMES


A cross between Michael Moore's caustic style and Ken Loach's eloquence INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

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