Mardi Gras: Made In China

This 2005 video offers a bracing lesson in global economics, crosscutting between a bead factory in Fuzhou, China (a kind of internment camp where teenage girls work 12-hour shifts for ten cents an hour), and the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities where the beads end up (including a ritual in which women flash their breasts in exchange for them). Video maker David Redmon repeatedly asks each group about the other and discovers that both are usually clueless. No surprise there, nor in the factory boss’s spin on how happy everyone is, the recycling of the beads in care packages sent to Baghdad, or the fact that the styrene used to manufacture them causes cancer. In English, Cantonese, Fujianese, and Mandarin with subtitles. 72 min. (JR)

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