Ask any person what he or she wants most in life and the answer is usually “to be happy.” People are desperately seeking inner peace. Society has led us to believe that it is to be found in material possessions so people stay stuck in jobs they hate while their lives slip away, only for the illusion of being able to one day buy that thing that promises to bring them happiness, make them feel complete, or give them peace. It’s a cycle that repeats itself mercilessly. All too soon, once again, we realize that that thing we slaved to buy, didn’t do it for us so we set our sights on another object, and struggle to get it in the hope that this time, we’ll hit the target.
We can no longer sit back and allow society to believe that true happiness is just a credit card swipe away. It’s time our kids figure out that it’s not true that the coolest kids wear the coolest sneakers and that all you need is another drink and a new car. Consumerism has become an out-of-control habit that is endangering our health, our well-being, and our environment. But culture has made consumerism seem natural or normal.
There’s a reason for that, though. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, bills were passed that were presented as measures to protect the people and their wealth but what they really turned out to be was the government’s attempt to infringe on the privacy of common citizens. Thus the USA Patriot Act has done little to get rid of terrorists, but has instead terrorized a lot of citizens. The Act allows police to barge into your home if they sense that you’re a threat of some kind. Then came the Internet censorship bill called ACTA which allows the government to eavesdrop on your Internet habits and gives them authority to shut down any website as they see fit.
OWNED and OPERATED is an experiential medley that sums up a few of the issues we need to be paying attention to. The film shows our lives as consumers stuck under the thumbs of a small group of privileged individuals and their merciless methods of control. It highlights how our focus on hoarding possessions has allowed law makers to sneak up and snatch our basic rights from right under our noses.
The good news is that the world is in the process of awakening. The process arouses excitement in those who are not served by the current system and it brings about fear in those who are somehow benefiting from it.
The producers of the film see it as a catalyst to bring together other creative people who happen to be activist-minded and who are willing to build an online community that works towards the development of more resources. These will encourage more individuals to create media projects to bring about greater awareness. Watch Owned and Operated right now, as always, 100% free.