Charlie inherits a shoe company, but he realizes that despite the reassuring words of his father, the reality is a lot different. The economic balance sheet is in the red and the stubbornness of his parent goes as far as producing shoes for a non-existent demand. A case of sheer madness.

He decides to go to London to recuperate at least the cost of the goods, but what happens is not just acting in films. In the conversation between him and the distributor lies the origin of our economic crisis.

Charlie: Harry?! A Price’s shoe will last a man a lifetime. Poor sod that buys these will be back in ten months for new ones?

Distributor:…I know! And isn’t that great?

It is called a “planned sunset” – a twisted mechanism which allows all companies in the world to plan the exact deadline when a product will stop functioning and have to be replaced by a new one. With this “diabolic intention”, millions of companies have straddled the age of consumerism (information or information technology are a thing of the past), some aiming for quantity, some on quality, but all of them shout the same mantra: Production! Production! Production!

Workers driven by the post-industrial promise have participated in their own condemnation. Someone will have asked themselves: Where will all this stuff end up? How are we producing it? Do we really need it?

The answers are under everybody’s noses:

1) Man does not build dump sites

2) The only re source used for industrial production is depleting: oil (do not expect the price to go down!)

3) Only 20% of the items we own are really necessary for our happy stay on this planet; the remaining 80% is just waste!

And all of this is inversely proportional to the satisfaction of the human race, being as our generation seems more feisty, unsatisfied and weaker than our grandparents.

That is why it is correct to call the post-industrial era, the “consumerism era” and internet is a sibling of the same era. A way of satisfying the need for speed and to produce more with less (less work force, more profits); so we will build bigger dump sites, oil will finish quicker and we will fill our homes with things we do not need.

Someone will be accusing me of demagogy without a solution, but I do not think that this is the point. Internet, like any other product/service should always respond to a necessary requirement: the long-term sustainability and happiness of the human race on Earth.

Perhaps we have forgotten?

What kind of world do we want to leave our children, and their future generations?

The solution is always on-hand. For example, when we prefer an apple (an organic one and not one covered in pesticides) rather than a quick and unhealthy snack; when we prefer to walk instead of using the car to go several hundred yards; or when we prefer silence which forces us to speak instead of listening to the deafening and pessimistic babble on the TV.

The truth is man could do good or bad in all of the eras and he did not need the TV or internet to live in a ethical-sustainable way; they know this well in the Valley of Hunza on the borders between Tibet e Pakistan where the local population lives on average 130 years, without illnesses and without owning all our useless paraphernalia.

Internet is an opportunity to amplify good or bad, it is OUR choice. Those whose intentions are exclusively “mercenary” and to their own advantage, have them both offline and online. Instead, the men of the future begin thinking and acting in terms of “ethical-sustainable” products and services and not in terms of “planned sunsets” like the distributor in the film.

The same stands for us businessmen, the same stands for us consumers; if someone has forgotten: we are all on the same boat.

If it were true (and it is the case in thousands of companies in the world) that distributor today would have shut up shop a loser to his own impulse to produce, squashed by the war of competition, by the cut of his staff, which without a salary cannot become a consumer of the shoes that the company for which he works is producing; in a game of cause-and-effect which will come to an end only when we ask ourselves:

What is best for me and the future generations? We all know that we can live with a lot less than we have.

Maybe we could start by eliminating 80% of the things we own and that we use only 20% of the time.

A possible solution comes at the end of the clip: two men, two extremes. On the one hand, a businessman who is a willing production victim at any cost, and on the other hand, the tramp who has decided to live with nothing. I do not believe that either one represents the “ethical-sustainable” man, but maybe a go-between. Perhaps by a worker that contributes to improving the world by spreading his contribution, which is not necessarily material. Or perhaps by a consumer that prefers knowledge, nature and relationships rather than a disproportionate purchase of goods.  As an end in itself

As far as “Training with movies” is concerned, our commitment is to make useful what may seem to be an end in itself: a film. But by using “ethical-sustainable” messages which are in many scenes we can contribute to a better world.

I hope that you will share this article, so that the message arrives as far as possible.



“… and in case I don’t see ya

good afternoon, good evening and good night!”…

(The Truman Show)


Buy the film

Buy the recommended book

"Kinky Boots" A film by Julian Jarrold with Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor. GB 2005

"Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America" by Giles Slade

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