As the film recognises, we are in the midst of change; the future is now uncertain as the systems and policies we have all lived under begin to crumble. It is when individuals who want to bring about a positive shift in society speak up and come together, that we see growth and development and this is exactly what Four Horsemen encourages. Appreciating that not everyone will have an in depth understanding of the economy, director Ross Ashcroft has broken down more complex explanations of the climate with engaging illustration and graphics, complimented by influential and informative narrative and interviews with 23 of the worlds leading financial, political, social and educational experts. With a refusal to 'dumb or play down' the situation, Ashcroft manages to present a group of individuals who tear the wool from our eyes and expose the workings of a society that has manipulated capitalism and worst of all, kept the rich and powerful rich and powerful, at the expense of billions.
Another alternative view that the film portrays is how global warming, poverty, terrorism and war are tangled amongst the dire economic situation, which is a refreshing perspective when so many documentaries are laden with conspiracy theories and centred around how to get the UK and US economy alive and kicking again, without a second thought to the fact that third world countries have been suffering on a dramatically more significant scale than we currently are for decades. Perhaps it is because the team do not come from an economic or financial background that they are able to step back from the obsession with UK's banks and observe the state of the world on a whole.
The feature has been widely praised by critics, though IDOL did observe a rather agitated viewer at the Q&A whom wanted more of a solution. Clearly having analysed the situation for herself, perhaps this is not the most appropriate film for those in the know. But there are a significant portion of us who aren't, indeed if we were, a solution would have been found already. Four Horsemen is a brilliant production that opens the viewers eyes to the reality of the society we live in and the powers who govern it, bringing about the stone cold realisation that we are one world and we are destroying not only the planet but those who live here and those to come. Yet reluctant to leave their audience in the depth of despair and helplessness (as much main stream media does), Four Horsemen succeeds in empowering the viewers, exiting the cinema screens with a thirst for further knowledge and action by emphasising the simplicity of the economic crisis; revealing that we are made to believe the situation is much more complex than it is in order to curb our curiosity, cloud our vision and prevent us asking questions.Yet now is the time for questioning more than ever, now is the time for research, education and understanding and Ross Ashcroft urges us to do just that, highlighting that changing ourselves as individuals will eventually change us as collective and free us from the current state of society we live in.
The film will be followed on with a sequel (soon, we hope) that explores further how we can begin rebuilding the foundations of our society; in order to have a just system that serves the interest of the people, rather than the few individuals lining their pockets at the top. If you can't wait that long (and we advise you not to- we have work to do and a world to change!) then you can always pay a visit to the website and purchase a copy of the book which explores the issues raised in the film further and continues to shape our understanding of the current socio-economic crisis we are facing.
This piece won't change the world overnight; it won't tell you how to fix it like a manual- no one film, one person, one book can do that and nor is it their responsibility to do so. Being citizens of one world, it is our responsibility as individuals to come together and proactively seek the truth, the faults in our system and work our way through the mess until we get to the other side.
We've been under the rock for too long, it's time to crawl out from underneath it.
Written by Jessica Duffin
Images from www.fourhorsemenfilm.com