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Parents' Guide to

Stars and Strife

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Thoughtful documentary on division in U.S.; some cursing.

Movie NR 2020 97 minutes
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One of the best things about this documentary is that there's bound to be at least one person interviewed that the viewer will dislike, perhaps intensely so. If that's a positive, it's because it shows how a broad spectrum of the statespeople, religious leaders, historians, economists, and activists is given the space to share their experiences with a society and political system that often feels like it's being torn apart by hatred of "the other." The economy's role in this crisis is thoughtfully explored, and how vanishing social mobility and a shrinking middle class have exacerbated these trends toward hatred, division, and intolerance of other viewpoints. While it paints a dire picture, Stars and Strife offers some hope that we can get out of this mess.

The biggest problem with Stars and Strife is its lack of age diversity. While there's diversity in gender, race, background, and ideology (if more on the center-right side of things), it's more than a little Boomer-heavy in its choice of interviewees, if not older. It's a glaring omission in a time when the youth of America are as active and engaged in what's happening in the world as they have ever been. Nonetheless, this is a thoughtful documentary that examines how economics and capitalism, reformed to level a playing field that has increasingly made upward mobility difficult, might help to bring back relatively saner disagreements and relatively better governance.

Movie Details

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