Noam Chomsky, author and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has published 35 books on politics and/or linguistics. An intellectual authority of considerable influence, he has imparted his wisdom in nearly 100 documentary features since 1993’s “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.” The documentary “Requiem for the American Dream” devotes its entire length to him breaking down the 10 principles of wealth and power, and how those form a vicious cycle that has — since the country’s inception — been brewing our current divisive climate.
The film proves an eye-opener even if you’re familiar with Chomsky’s ideological bent. Sidestepping bipartisan politics and advocacy, he draws on Aristotle and Scottish philosopher Adam Smith to explain fundamental flaws in our political system that detract from democracy and the American dream. Knee-jerk reactions notwithstanding, Chomsky informs citizens, and with much food for thought.
The film isn’t necessarily pegged to the upcoming election per se, but the logic presented within helps make sense of current affairs. Some of filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott’s flourishes do seem superfluous, but they’ve maintained the structural integrity of the case that Chomsky builds.
‘Requiem for the American Dream’
Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica