380 reflection#2

Documentary Reflection #2 Prompt: International Institutions in International Business




This reflection requires you to choose between one of four documentaries [listed below] and assess arguments against the roles of the IMF, World Bank, and WTO in our global society. These organizations have a large number of supporters and critics. When considering policies implemented broadly or for specific countries, whose interests do these organizations prioritize [i.e., who are the winners]? And who loses?


Documentary Options [only select one]


  1. Life and Debt: This film is a critique of the role that the IMF played in Jamaica’s economic growth [or lack thereof] between the 1970s and 1990s. It touches on the connection between the IMF and multinational corporations [MNCs], as this connection relates to the promotion of globalization and economic growth in the country.
  • Trailer for the documentary
  • I’ve shown this documentary in class and most students enjoyed it due to the variety of perspectives speaking on the IMF [albeit, largely anti-IMF]
  • ***I will note that this is the only documentary that you would have to pay for [~$4 via Amazon for rental]. However, I think it’s worth it
  • If you choose this option, I encourage you to turn on the sub-titles


  1. The New Rulers of the World: Many consider this documentary to be a scathing critique of the IMF’s policies in Indonesia in the late 1990s, during the ‘Asian financial crisis’. But more broadly, it highlights the power of MNCs given their ties to the IMF, World Bank, and WTO. The documentary raises the question of whether these organizations should be abolished.


  1. Four Days in Seattle: The documentary represents a news report detailing protests against the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999. It includes a fairly comprehensive timeline of the events and interviews with local officials discussing arguments for and against the WTO.


  1. This is What Democracy Looks Like: The documentary represents the perspective of “media activists” [e.g., journalists and social activists] who filmed the protests against the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999. It’s a collection of “first-hand” news clips to provide a greater sense of the criticisms of the WTO and the push towards a free trade movement heading into the next decade.


***If you opt for video 3 or 4, I encourage you to check out these readings prior to watching the documentary so that you have a better sense of why the protests occurred as well as the images you will see on the screen

Questions to Address in Write-up [at least 1 page, 1.5 line spacing]


  1. Describe at least two ways that this documentary has changed or reinforced your perspectives on one or more international institutions.
  • Provide specific details/examples from the documentary for full credit
  • Be clear about how you viewed the institution[s] prior to watching the documentary
  1. What perspectives do you believe are missing from the documentary? How would these perspectives have enhanced the documentary?
  • Missing perspectives may include those of proponents of the international institutions


  1. Using concrete examples from the documentary, describe at least one “winner” and one “loser” associated with the policies of the international institution[s] mentioned.


  1. What’s your overall reaction of the documentary [e.g., likes/dislikes]?
  • Include your thoughts on how the documentary is reported [e.g., examples/media clips used]
  • Include why you selected this documentary relative to others


Note that this Reflection is worth 20 points

  • Questions 1 – 3 [at least 1 paragraph each]: up to 5 points each
  • Question 4: up to 3 points
  • Organization of document: up to 2 points


This reflection is due Tuesday, October 5th, 15 minutes before class starts.

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