Bread & Circuses

: Documentary Short
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


Economist and Professor Richard Wolff argues that in a democracy, worker run and owned cooperatives are the solution to corporate greed and worker oppression.


This film explores the concept of worker owned and run cooperatives as a democratic alternative to our current capitalistic employment model. Richard Wolff, Economist, Author, Professor and Founder of Democracy at Work, discusses real wage stagnation, the attack on and weakening of Labor Unions, FDR’s New Deal, the Taft-Hartley Act and the unfounded aggression towards immigrants in the United States.


In all of my work it is vital to create a strong visual narrative that seamlessly weaves imagery and dialogue together so the viewer doesn’t feel my presence as the filmmaker. My films are made with the intention of activating and empowering the viewer to create positive change as well as to stimulate critical thinking and a connection to the intuitive self.

Aesthetically, I’ve chosen not use any archival footage to illustrate the film even if the interviewee is discussing historical events. I specifically use this technique to keep the viewer within the context of modern day America. Since Professor Wolff discusses our nation as a whole, it’s important to me that this is also articulated in the visuals. The ability to film imagery around the country would help the viewer experience different landscapes and thus provide a more all encompassing visual narrative within the film. It’s important to my artistic vision to use imagery that’s not always a literal reflection of what’s being said, but rather more metaphorical, creating a deeper intuitive dialogue within the viewer. 

The film is half way finished and all funding would be used to finish production, post-production and outreach. I’ve already interviewed Richard Wolff and have a 20-minute audio edit constructed, which allows me the ability to know exactly what imagery I need to help finish this film. I am interested in shooting at the Workers Memorial Park in Flint Michigan as well as through out the city of Detroit, as Professor Wolff specifically discusses industry within Detroit during the 1930’s. He discusses Labor Unions both in the past and modern day, which is why I’d like to film at the Coal Miners monument in Trinidad Colorado and the site of the Ludlow Massacre in Ludlow, Colorado. Mount Rushmore moves the imagery out of the city and into nature while bringing the viewer into the greater context of the United States founding fathers and the Democratic ideals of the country.  I'm also looking to film immigrant rights rallies around the country. 

Most recently I've been filming at the Momentive plant in Waterford, NY where 700 workers were camped out on strike as well as the Ithaca College Contingent Faculty Protest/Strike. 

The poster and/or title animations will be in collaboration with the Burlington, VT based Brand & Design Practice, Solidarity of Unbridled Labour. (

*This short documentary is the second film in a series I'm making on Totalitarian Capitalism and Totalitarian Corporate Power. The intent of this series is to activate US citizens to fight against the corporate powers that are oppressing the people and destroying the environment. Each film highlights a different issues under the larger umbrella of Totalitarian Capitalism. The first film in the series, American Psychosis, was based off an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist, Activist, and Author Chris Hedges, where he discusses Totalitarian Capitalism and the culture of illusion in our modern day. 

*Bread & Circuses is a working title. 


Amanda Zackem - Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

Amanda Zackem was Director of Cinematography for the feature documentary Germans & Jews (First Run Features, '16) and Producer of the feature length documentaries, The Trial of the St. Patrick’s Four (’06) and Blind Spot (’08). Her short documentary on women’s cycling pioneer Georgena Terry screened in 23 film-festivals worldwide, and won Best Female Directed short at the Cornwall Film Festival. Her short experimental film The Black Series, won Best Cinematography at the Women’s Independent Film Festival (CA). Her most recent short documentary based off an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist Chris Hedges. She was also an Adjunct Professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in the Multimedia, Photography and Design Department.

Jonathan Zalben - Music Composer

Jonathan Zalben has written music for films released by HBO, Lionsgate, Discovery, and Sony Pictures Classics. His film music has also screened at Sundance, Berlin, SXSW and Tribeca. He scored the feature film "Flock of Dudes" starring Chris D'Elia and Hannah Simone which was released by Starz, theatrically and on VOD this fall. Other scores include the Oscar-nominated "Redemption" directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, as well as the HBO documentary "There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane", directed by Liz Garbus. Zalben is also a music supervisor and runs the music licensing company First Frame Music. Recent music supervision credits include "Janis: Little Girl Blue" currently airing on PBS and "Burn Country" starring James Franco and Melissa Leo, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He also music supervised Courteney Cox's directorial debut "Just Before I Go" as well as Adam Goldberg's "No Way Jose". He recently scored the short documentary 'Alone' which won the 2017 Sundance Jury Award for Short Non-fiction. 

Dan Mazur - Location Sound Mixer & Post Sound Mixer

Dan Mazur is a location sound recordist and audio post production mixer based in central Vermont. He has recorded audio for many feature films, TV movies, commercials, corporate videos, documentaries, reality TV series, and web videos since getting into the business in 1996. Dan has a long list of post production mixing credits as well, including award winning dramatic and documentary features produced for Vermont, national, and international markets. Clients served include Microsoft, HGTV, Dish Network, NBC/Universal Studios, HARPO, HMC2 Marketing, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Cabot, VT Lotto, American Cancer Society, Artist View Entertainment, University of Vermont, Marlboro College, Burlington College, Porchlight Entertainment, Kingdom County Productions, Independent Film Channel and the Hallmark Network.


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