Adam Smith Birth of the Free Market takes us through the streets of Dorset, England. We eventually arrive at a farm nestled deep within the countryside. The farm, surrounded by lush vegetation, quaint country cottages, and clear blue skies, appears to be just one part of a thriving community. We then see the farm’s owner, a man who’s currently tending to his cows in front of a shed. Even when he takes a break to speak with us, his face is still lined with stress, and he maintains a permanent frown. He tells us a story about how large European corporations have been kicking farmers off their land for centuries, and how people became desperate to find jobs in the city as a result. He is painting a picture of how capitalism worked its way across Europe and forever changed the English economy.
Firsthand knowledge in Ovid.tv’s Adam Smith, The Birth of the Free Market
The farm is a scene from Adam Smith, The Birth of the Free Market, a documentary that takes us on a world tour to learn more about how capitalism developed over time. We meet various anthropologists, economists, and historians. They reward us with tales of important events from their country’s history, giving us the opportunity to learn more about global conflicts and historical economic practices.
We don’t only hear from experts. Much like the European farmer, many of the documentary’s speakers are everyday people living the effects of their country’s previous decisions. The film puts a focus on their daily lives by including footage of crowded marketplaces, bustling city life, and cultural traditions. For what the director could not gather footage of, he incorporated interpretive artwork in its place. Key moments from historical expeditions, global conflicts, and social movements are flash-frozen in the form of old sketches and paintings. We also see important figures from history depicted in antique portraits alongside diagrams explaining their discoveries.
Adam Smith, The Birth of the Free Market will likely appeal to people who are interested in economics or world history. Though, in this author’s opinion, the film’s immersive storytelling is enough to entertain anyone. The film mostly ignores common notions about capitalism, daring us to think about it as a collection of past economic practices rather than just the ability to buy and sell products. Fortunately, even though the documentary focuses on economics, commentators do not use academic jargon, allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy this film.
Director: Ilan Ziv
Producers: Bruno Nahon, Paul Cadieux and Ilan Ziv
Written by Ilan Ziv and Bruno Nahon
For more information or to watch the film, visit the OVID.tv page for Adam Smith, The Birth of the Free Market
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Photos courtesy of OVID.tv.
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