Turnaround Capitalism

Barry Bennett is the Leni Riefenstahl of the blistering attack documentary. The political operative’s half-hour anti–Bain Capital film, endorsed by the increasingly unhinged Newt Gingrich and aired by his super PAC, is anti-market agitprop worthy of Michael Moore. If the Academy gave an award for tendentiousness, Bennett would be a sure-fire nominee.

Yet his production is at times affecting and effective. Put aside its dishonesties and over-the-top insinuations about the Mitt Romney–run private-equity firm (it raised seed money from Latin America!). The film captures a conflict of visions. From below, from the workers at Bain-acquired firms that went bust, the vision is about family, community, and security. From above, it is about efficiency and profit.

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