The True Cost Exposes the Dark Side of “Fast Fashion”

Categories:  Events    Film
Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 at 9:15 AM
The True Cost Exposes the Dark Side of “Fast Fashion” by Dan Schank

Wednesday, March 30

Toward the beginning of Andrew Morgan’s 2015 documentary The True Cost, we are introduced to Shima Ahkter, a 23-year-old garment worker in Bangladesh who is trying to organize a labor union. Ahkter makes less than three dollars an hour working in what we would almost certainly call a sweatshop. While trying to support her young daughter, she advocates for the basic improvements necessary to prevent workplace catastrophes like the Rana Plaza disaster – an atrocity that took the lives of over 1,000 Bangladeshi workers in 2013 when a poorly maintained factory collapsed.

The film forces us to confront the ugly consequences of our access to cheap goods through long shots of polluted rivers, glimpses of congested factories, and interviews with exhausted workers.

Ahkter’s story exemplifies Morgan’s documentary at its best – it takes an easily ignored problem (the astounding inequality often produced by globalization) and gives it a relatable, human face. The film forces us to confront the ugly consequences of our access to cheap goods through long shots of polluted rivers, glimpses of congested factories, and interviews with exhausted workers.

As an investigation into the shady supply chains that produce “fast fashion” for companies like H & M and Forever 21, the film is stirring, powerful, and honest. But its ambitions somewhat exceed its running time. As The True Cost expands its scope – tackling related issues like genetically modified cotton in India, free trade fashion lines in Europe, and the culture of consumerism in the West – it often loses focus.

Morgan’s well-meaning documentary offers a startling and ambitious glimpse into the most immoral peripheries of our consumer economy. It doesn’t offer clear alternatives to the system we’re currently stuck with (or a particularly nuanced assessment of how it came to be), but it will definitely leave you with a strong gut feeling about the wastefulness of the globalized present. – Dan Schank

Film at 7 p.m., with Fashion Panel to Follow // Erie Art Museum, 411 State St. // erieartmuseum.org/events/film.html

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 25
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

We give you a special sneak preview for the BEST OF ERIE Winners! AND we talk to emcee Charles Brown, and even make some music of our own...

Use this calendar to your “Advent”-age

A merry little inspiration for your local shopping needs

I loved nearly every scene of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.

Get out the door to see and hear what’s really happening at Scotty’s Lounge.

IN THIS ISSUE

Use this calendar to your “Advent”-age

A merry little inspiration for your local shopping needs

I loved nearly every scene of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.

Get out the door to see and hear what’s really happening at Scotty’s Lounge.

The latest Electroflux series will feature dRachEmUsiK alongside D.Minoza, greyscapes and Modular Moose.

Dark, intense, and infinitely cool, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Rest is captivating.

John Fetterman, a man for all cities, in push for Lieutenant Governor bid

 

Multiple outlets offer locally made shirt designs and more

Where next should we waste our billions of new gasoline tax revenue?

Justice League is nowhere near as bad as Batman v. Superman, but it’s not very good either.

2017 Best of Erie Voting Now Open! Vote Now!
Closing in
Click here to close now