×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Death by China

"Death by China" paints a frightening vision of an evil, totalitarian government aiming weapons of economic destruction at the U.S. while massively building up its military capability.

With:
With: Tim Ryan, Carolyn Bartholomew, Richard McCormack, Peter Morici, Tom Danjczek, Patrick Mulloy, Richard L. Trumka, Harry Wu. Narrator: Martin Sheen.

Death by China” paints a frightening vision of an evil, totalitarian government aiming weapons of economic destruction at the U.S. while massively building up its military capability. One need not fully subscribe to Peter Navarro’s demonization to appreciate his lucid wake-up call to the imminent dangers of the huge U.S.-China trade imbalance and its disastrous impact on the American economy. Mixing colorful, attention-grabbing graphics and rapid-fire interviews with a wide swath of politicos, economists, academics, dissidents, labor leaders and CEOs, this bullet-point docu could have significant impact, particularly with smallscreen auds.

Navarro critiques the American decision to allow China into the World Trade Organization, blaming Democrats and Republicans equally. Stressing that the goal of WTO inclusion was to open up China to American exports, Navarro argues that, instead, China immediately began subverting the letter and spirit of fair trade through illegal export subsidies and currency manipulation, effectively flooding the U.S. markets with often-toxic goods while making it virtually impossible for American products to compete in China.

The docu asserts that the Chinese government encouraged counterfeiting and piracy, not only of Disney DVDs but of high-end American technology. Furthermore, the filmmaker notes, China cut production costs by ignoring global standards of workplace safety, labor practices and pollution control.

But, as Navarro and his experts are quick to point out, China could not have succeeded without the collusion and active participation of multinationals like G.E., Caterpillar, Boeing and Apple, conglomerates willing to trade decent jobs and long-term homeland stability for quick profits by moving their businesses overseas and pouring billions into the political system to guarantee the status quo. Once the big boys relocated, the smaller companies had no choice but to close down or ship out.

As a result, more than 50,000 U.S. factories have disappeared (and with them, the small businesses and services they supported), and millions of Americans cannot find decent-paying jobs. And without a manufacturing base, research and development tends to stagnate or simply move overseas, there to be copied or co-opted.

The director alternates hard-hitting, articulate soundbites with more relaxed, down-home testimony. Navarro has chosen his talking heads wisely, and they represent a wide spectrum of interests and perspectives. But many of his most cogent points, narrated by Martin Sheen, are couched in flamboyant rhetoric and illustrated by overly simplistic graphics depicting big guns firing at the U.S. or bombs falling from above. One can readily understand the docu’s sense of urgency, while wishing its bells and whistles did not sound so much like the anti-Soviet propaganda of yesteryear.

Death by China

Production: An Area 23 release of a DBC production. Produced by Peter Navarro, Joe Zarinko, Michael Addis, Greg Autry. Executive producer, Navarro. Directed by Peter Navarro, based on the book by Navarro, Greg Autry.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Kasey Kirby; editors, John W. Carr, Michael Addis, Navarro; music, Christophe Eagleton; sound, Listen 2; re-recording mixer, Scott A. Jennings; animation and graphic design, Friends of Mine. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Aug. 11, 2012. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Tim Ryan, Carolyn Bartholomew, Richard McCormack, Peter Morici, Tom Danjczek, Patrick Mulloy, Richard L. Trumka, Harry Wu. Narrator: Martin Sheen.

More Film

  • Celebrities Sound Off on 2018

    Celebrities Pick Their Favorite Movies and TV Shows of 2018

    Still looking for the latest and greatest movie, TV series or book to finish before the year is out? Why not ask the folks behind Hollywood’s favorite hits, what they’re reading and viewing this 2018. We reached out to the stars and creators behind the things you love (including Barry Jenkins, Steven Canals and Dan Levy)  to [...]

  • Kate Winslet Saoirse Ronan

    Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan to Star in Fossil Hunter Movie 'Ammonite'

    Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan are starring in the independent historical drama “Ammonite,” a story inspired by the life of fossil hunter Mary Anning. The story is set in 1840s England, when Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever. Anning is [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Salads for two.jpg

    Palm Springs Cuisine Scene: Latest Places to Dine in the Desert

    Desert playgrounds of the Coachella Velley beckon attendees of the upcoming Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival, getting under way Jan. 3. Veteran festgoers will notice some changes around town: the Hard Rock Hotel is again the Hotel Zoso, the Camelot Theaters now function under the auspices of the Palm Springs Cultural Center and there are [...]

  • Mary Poppins 1964

    P.L. Travers' Efforts to Adapt 'Mary Poppins' for Film, TV Were Often Less Than Jolly

    Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel decades in the making, opens Dec. 19. Even before the 1964 original, Hollywood made several attempts to adapt P.L. Travers’ books, with Samuel Goldwyn and Katharine Hepburn among those involved in the chase. But aside from a one-hour 1949 CBS television version, they all hit a dead-end. The first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content