“I see a New World, can you see it?”
“The poor are no longer hungry, the rich cannot hoard their wealth. Everyone has enough to live well. This is a birthright. Wealth is not power and true power does not serve wealth. People are devoted to actions they love. Our work is our passion and our passion is our task.”
This opening scene from “Listen to the City” a film by Ron Mann made in 1984 depicts a man, a poet like figure disoriented, fragile and unstable. Waking from his hospital bed after a stroke a metaphor for uncertainty to come. The film delivers a dark melancholic undertone, the feeling of running out of time and limited opportunity.
The news presenter raises comment for concern.
“Declining corporate profits, poor productivity from government interference. Little attention is given to management itself. Are managers sacrificing long term corporate health for short term dividend and temporary profit. In the last 10 years the number of lawyers has tripled. Are our rights being protected by all this increase litigation? We have more doctors than ever before yet good health is far from assured. Is the bio-medical viewpoint preventing doctors understanding the true nature of illness?
Government and critics comprehension of the arts is decreasing. Can art survive without an appreciative culture and an insightful criticism to sustain? The energy industry is too little concerned with the energy cost of producing energy. Should scarce research funds be devoted to developing more cost efficient processing? Automation threatens everyone’s livelihood, yet people can not conceive a life without jobs.
The film highlights the importance to the role of the artist as powerless. Witness to a great depression led by a facist movement, a pre-anxiety for a post industrialist system. With a focus on the proletarian industrialist worker fighting against the rise of new technologies, failing unions and facing unemployment of factory closure with failing governance.