Documentary a chilling comparison of two parts of one road

"Park Avenue: Money Power and the American Dream" aired Monday night, and I ran a little late in posting my review of this film by Oscar winner Alex Gibney. 

It will repeat on PBS (check local listings), and it is currently running on Hulu as well.

It is a master class in current U.S. economics, and it is informative, revealing and chilling. I don't know a better word to describe it.

"Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream" is a documentary that compares and contrasts the development of Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan with the appalling lack of development of Park Avenue 10 minutes away in the South Bronx. Why? Because "people who own apartments at 740 Park Avenue make up America's ruling class" and people who live along Park Avenue in the South Bronx "make up the poorest congressional district in the United States." Forty percent of the 700,000 people there live below the poverty level. In the last 30 years, the people "have seen their wages fall and the cost of everything else go through the roof. They've lost their jobs in a recession caused by bankers across the river. They've watched their children struggle in failing schools and they are less well off than they were a generation ago."

Gibney notes that the upward mobility required to access the American dream is stymied because of the unregulated relationship between big money and politics, and observes that the deep moat signified by the Harlem River that separates both parts of Park Avenue has become a barrier to achievement.

Click here to read the rest of the review.

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