Independant America Amanda s

Independent America by Hanson Hosein (on–camera talent/writer/editor/director) and Heather Hughes (on-camera talent/producer/writer) is a documentary about two people on a road trip across America on two lane roads only buying from mom and pop businesses. They are studying the effects on “Big Box corporations” (Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, ect.). Along the way they pass towns with completely mom and pop businesses, and towns where big box corporations have caused all the mom and pops to go out of business. In some super Wal-Marts you can buy your groceries, clothes, household items, sports equipment, craft supplies, nails done, oil changed, plants, and more. You might think nothing is wrong with that, you are saving money, but the problem is it takes money away from your local economy when you aren’t supporting your neighbors. Wal-Mart has a different view on things. They seem to think they are helping the local economy by opening a Wal-Mart because there are more people coming to that town, but people are only buying things from Wal-Mart instead of the mom and pops.

This documentary deals with an economic and social issue. A town’s economy thrives when there are no big boxes. The money you spend pays the people that work there, and those people can spend the money they made at your business and so on. Whereas with Wal-Mart the money partially goes towards the economy but mostly goes somewhere else to the head of the big corporation. This documentary was very eye opening. I liked the drastic idea of only buying and staying at mom and pop businesses, and never traveling on a four lane interstate. I was slightly disappointed to see them break their rules. They had no option but to buy an extension cord at Wal-Mart in order to interview a Wal-Mart vice president, and they accidentally took a wrong turn onto a four lane interstate. That shows the difficulties of avoiding the big boxes and four lanes. This movie has made me want to support our local economy more. We did recently lose Sarasota News and Books because people chose to go to Barnes and Noble or Borders.

I noticed upon watching this movie that I know of a town with only mom and pops. My family and I like to vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado. It’s a little ski town where you can get away from the hustle and bustle, and don’t have to dine at McDonalds or pizza hut. I think it makes the vacation a lot better. You would think you might be lost without some of those things but the locally owned businesses are a lot better than fast food.

This documentary is really well done. The camera follows the filmmakers around, exploring towns with and without big boxes. You get to meet the moms and pops of their businesses and see that just because you don’t know what Fatty’s pizza’s pizza is like doesn’t mean it’s not just as good if not better than Pizza Hut. Some mom and pop restaurants use the food grown locally, and some grocery stores are completely organic. You can’t say the same thing about McDonalds and Wal-Mart. This is a controversial issue because big boxes are taking over and putting numerous people out of business. The director is slightly biased because he is against big boxes, but it’s when you see this documentary you realize how much damage big boxes have done. The audience for this documentary is anyone and everyone, but I would say especially parents because buying from mom and pops is a good way to help the economy for their children’s future. You don’t need to know anything before watching this documentary because it tells you what you need to know at the beginning. I would recommend this documentary to anyone because I feel like most people shop big box without knowing the difference. This film is easily accessible through hulu so there is no need to hesitate on watching it.


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