Across the United States and the United Kingdom, economic
policies that were set in place decades ago continue to harbor a
growing wedge between the wealthy and the poor.
two-part documentary The Divide introduces us to seven
citizens who have experienced the effects of this disparity
Though the film includes archived news footage related to
several key economic milestones,
It is by no means a
dry lesson in government policy.
filmmakers focus almost exclusively on the human side of the
In New York City, a psychologist serves the mental health needs
of Wall Street's most successful movers and shakers.
Not content to teach
or open a practice for less privileged clients - where his
salary might be limited to a mere $100,000 a year - he now lives
the high life, or at least works hard at maintaining the
appearance that he is.
A small business owner was forced to close her shop after a
Walmart was erected nearby. Later, she procured
employment from that same Walmart that put her out of business.
Over the years, she's
detected a depressing change in corporate culture.
Employees are pushed
to their limits, no longer recognized for their hard work as
they once were, and the company leaders are less willing to
share the fruits of their success.
Through these and other portraits, we understand the
psychological and societal implications of wealth inequality
between the haves, the have nots, and those who are
trying to break from one social status to the other.
This dynamic is
especially profound in the story of Jen, a mother from
Sacramento, California who lives in a luxury gated community.
She doesn't know her
neighbors, and she can frequently feel them judging her based on
the type of car she drives and her willingness to do her own
Economic inequality is currently at its highest level since
mourns the passing of a way of life that is no longer simple,
balanced or just, and which now values the facade of success
over all else.