Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  53 minutes
Date:  2002
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: Grades 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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The New Rulers of the World

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Award-winning journalist, John Pilger, investigates the realities of globalization by taking a close look at Indonesia.

The New Rulers of the World

In order to examine the true effects of globalization, Pilger turns the spotlight on Indonesia, a country described by the World Bank as a model pupil until its globalized economy collapsed in 1998. The film examines the use of sweatshop factories by famous brand names, and asks some penetrating questions. Who are the real beneficiaries of the globalized economy? Who really rules the world now? Is it governments or a handful of huge companies? The Ford Motor Company alone is bigger than the economy of South Africa. Enormously rich men, like Bill Gates, have a wealth greater than all of Africa.

Pilger goes behind the hype of the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater -- two thirds of the world's children live in poverty -- and the gulf is widening like never before.

The film looks at the new rulers of the world -- the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them -- the IMF and the World Bank. Under IMF rules, millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. The reality behind much of modern shopping and the famous brands is a sweatshop economy, which is being duplicated in country after country.

The film travels to Indonesia and Washington, asking challenging questions seldom raised in the mainstream media and exposing the scandal of globalization, including revealing interviews with top officials of the World Bank and the IMF.

'In another in a long line of passionate, wide-ranging and informative reports, John Pilger examines globalization: a process which, he believes, enslaves the many in order to empower the few. It is a deeply impressive, informative, heartfelt piece of journalism, and it proves that the small screen still can, when it has a mind to, bring us the big picture.' Graham McCann, Financial Times

'Pilger's analysis is sophisticated, interweaving Cold War politics and the workings of the World Bank and the IMF, and shows how corporations such as Ford now have bigger economies than South Africa, and the way many countries have been turned into giant sweatshops.' Gerard Gilbert, The (London) Independent

'Globalization is a big subject to tackle and there's no doubt this latest film is a full meal, throwing a lot of factual information at the viewer. That it never feels overwhelming or unfocused testifies both to Pilger's film-making experience and to those political news instincts he developed at the Daily Mirror, in the days when the Mirror really mattered.' Kieron Corless, Time Out

'John Pilger is back with another quietly impassioned report on the insidious nature of globalization. His grilling of an IMF spokesman is beautifully understated, although it doesn't stop the man from spouting absolute rubbish. A must-see for those who think anti-capitalist demonstrations are led solely by thuggish anarchists.' Mary Novakovich, The (Manchester) Guardian

'Any new investigation by John Pilger is going to be an event, and rightly so as his brand of crusading journalism is so rare on the box today...In this compelling hour...he contends that the real power in today's global economy no longer resides with the governments but in the hands of a few huge multinationals...And watching him among the sweatshops of Indonesia, it's hard to disagree.' Jan Jurczak, Daily Express

'Even if you vehemently disagree with most of what John Pilger says, he puts forward a case that needs to be answered.' David Chater, The (London) Times

'A calm, carefully articulated account of the monstrous crimes perpetrated by the heroes of globalization.' Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado

'A scathing portrait of the way Western commerce has taken over the economy of Indonesia and continues to maintain its grip in a way which prevents the country from ever rising above its poverty.' Doug Cummings, filmjourney.org


Special Award, Prix Leonardo
Silver Hugo, Chicago International Television Competition
Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
MountainFilm, Telluride
Vermont International Film Festival
Global Justice Film Festival, Washington, DC
American Anthropological Association Conference
Taos Talking Picture Festival
Amnesty International Film Festival
Istanbul International Labor Film Festival


Main credits

Pilger, John (Producer)
Pilger, John (Screenwriter)
Pilger, John (pre)
Lowery, Alan (Producer)
Lowery, Alan (Director)
Dylan, Bob (mus)

Other credits

Cinematographers, Preston Clothier, Jonathan Harrison; music, Bob Dylan, Maddy Prior, Nick Russell-Pavier; editor, Joe Frost.

Distributor credits

Carlton International Media Ltd

Carlton International Media Ltd
Alan Lowery
Produced, Written and Presented by John Pilger

Docuseek2 subjects

International Relations and Geopolitics
Human Rights
Business Ethics
Asian Studies

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Developing World
Global Issues
Human Rights
International Studies
International Trade
Pacific Studies
Social Justice


John Pilger, globalization, Indonesia, World Bank, IMF, sweatshops, multinational corporations,"The New Rulers of the World",Bullfrog Films

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