A Six-Part Series

DVD (widescreen)


   Order Code: FR112DV    ISBN : 9786317296473
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This provocative history of capitalism visits 22 countries to reveal how the biggest ideas in economics emerged, and how those ideas reshaped human life.

Fully explaining the theories of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Karl Polanyi in historical context, these documentaries embed economics in specific social, political, and historical contexts in order to critique the classic view that open markets and free enterprise are our best tool for improving human happiness. Marshaling sparkling, incisive animations; archival film, art, and photographs; and interviews with 27 respected economists, historians, anthropologists, and social critics (including Thomas Piketty, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Michael Hudson, James Kenneth Galbraith, Lord Robert Skidelsky, Yanis Varoufakis, Ha-Joon Chang, and David Graeber), the six 54-minute episodes can each stand alone but, combined, compose a sustained and coherent argument for a more humanistic economics. The episodes:

  • Adam Smith: The Birth of the Free Market. How global markets emerged in the world before Adam Smith, and how viewing labor as a commodity legitimized the institution of slavery
  • The Wealth of Nations: A New Gospel? How Adam Smith’s economic concepts, embraced without his work on morality, led to tragic distortions of our global economic system
  • Ricardo and Malthus: Did You Say Freedom? How two men’s ideas restructured 19th-century society in the image of the market, and how those ideas play out today
  • What If Marx Was Right? How a post-communist reexamination of Marx’s critique of capitalism exposes problems that remain relevant today
  • Keynes vs. Hayek: A Fake Debate? How the question of which economic doctrine to prefer swung from Keynes to Hayek
  • Karl Polanyi: The Human Factor. How Polyani’s philosophy integrates economic insights with social values

Warning: brief, culturally appropriate seminudity. Directed by Ilan Ziv.

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Arte France


10 and up



Run Time

Total time: 320 minutes