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Why You Should See Sorry to Bother You

I found out about this movie because Steven Yuen's in it and not playing a stereotypical Asian character role (tech nerd, martial arts expert, etc). And fnord12's been a Boots Riley fan for years. But then we learned there was another reason to want to see this movie.

"Sorry to Bother You" is unique insofar as it is not a story in which our protagonists escape their lowly material circumstances through individual industry, professional grit, or uncommon genius. Rather, it juxtaposes meritocratic excessive wealth with a living wage earned through solidarity. The former comes by chance and accrues only to a chosen few: Cash's voice is a gift -- not something one could work toward -- and, because this gift is both profitable and rare, it's highly valued. By contrast, the telemarketing employees hope to gain a dignified standard of living for everyone by withholding their labor en masse.

This movie differs from classic "rags to riches" tales like "The Pursuit of Happyness" -- a moving film, but one which celebrates a poor man's journey from homeless to stock broker without critiquing the relationship between concentrated wealth and a dearth of affordable housing, or the absurdity of a "meritocracy" that would hinge a family's survival on a parent's ability to dazzle an interviewer with a Rubik's Cube. "The Pursuit of Happyness" is touching because it shows one man overcoming impossible odds. "Sorry to Bother You" is moving because it shows that we don't have to beat those odds alone.


By min | July 25, 2018, 1:13 PM | Liberal Outrage & Movies | Link

« Movies: June 2018 | Main