November 7, 2011
Galileo's, Students' Union Building, University of Lethbridge
The American Ruling Class, the world’s first “dramatic-documentary-musical”, explores our country’s most taboo topic: class, power and privilege in our nominally democratic republic. This feature-length satire stars Lewis Lapham, the renowned essayist and author, and a heavy-weight ensemble cast that includes former cabinet secretaries, corporate mandarins, media magnates, and at least one journalist working as a waitress. The film follows Lapham and two recent Yale graduates as they make the rounds of Pentagon briefings, the World Economic Forum, philanthropic foundations, law firms, corporations banks, and New York society dinners as they attempt to answer the question, “Who rules America?”
The narrative portion of the film, interwoven throughout, tells the story of two representative graduates, “one rich and one poor” as they seek direction in their lives. Does America have a ruling class? If so, of what is it made, and how does it co-exist with our democracy? How does one join it: should one even want to? The real life luminaries become characters in a story about power and its responsibilities, and by the film’s end, the young men must decide: do they wish to rule the world…or save it?
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