‘Make humans the center of everything’: a cinema for conscious capitalism
Mad City (1997) and The Ax (2005)
in The films of Costa-Gavras
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Three films in particular, Mad City (1997), The Ax (2005), and Capital (2012), advocate for a more conscientious and sustainable form of capitalism than the one often practised. The director reveals with a piercing sympathy for those that suffer the results of corporate downsizing and relocation. The Ax provides an explicit, sustained, and nuanced attack on the shift from aggressive capitalism to predatory capitalism that turns society into either predator or prey. Taken together, one can see Costa-Gavras issuing a clear call through Mad City and The Ax for the very kinds of conscious capitalism found in today’s business circles. The films explicitly ask society to make ‘humans the center of everything’, as one of the characters in The Ax will propose as the solution to the unstable practices profit-driven capitalism performs to reward stockholders at the expense of stakeholders.

Editor: Homer B. Pettey

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