The Netflix algorithm can lead us many times to watch productions specially built to catch the public without leaving a major mark on its viewers. Yes OK “Worth / How much is life worth?” (Sara Colangelo, 2020) is one of those that have been appearing promoted on our screen in recent weeks, it is recommended not only because it catches, but because of the theme it deals with, which opens us up to ask ourselves about controversial issues such as justice and the value of life.
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Released in our country 20 years after the attacks on the Twin Towers of September 11, the film shows the process that took place in the United States to calculate monetary compensation for the families of the victims of the attacks.
In particular, it focuses on the expert insurance lawyer and the team that he assembles to develop the mathematical formula that will govern both the top businessmen of the financial world, as well as those who worked in cleaning the towers, even the firefighters and rescuers who they left his life that day. The script is based on the story of this protagonist and exposes the different ways of approaching a tragic situation, but that must be solved with money.
Can there be exceptions to the rule? Can the dramatic stories of the victims’ families affect the judgment of the experts? Should we stay on the sidelines? Is a monetary compensation enough? They are some of the many questions that are triggered from this drama that, in addition, is very well represented by the performances of Michael Keaton, Amy Ryan and Stanley Tucci.
On the other hand, “How much is life worth?” brings us closer to this concept of the search for collective justice in which the fight for reparation is not individual and in which it is not only aimed at equality, but at equity. They are films that usually start from a particular case to account for a huge group of people whose rights have been violated and who, in general, are from the working class, harmed by large corporations or even by the State. One of the best known of this style is the now classic “Erin Brokovich” (Steven Soderbergh, 2000), which can also be found on Netflix; however there are others to recommend:
Dark Waters / Dark Waters (Todd Haynes, 2019): a lawyer from a large firm that usually represents large corporations, approaches a case that will lead to a collective trial of many families harmed by the environmental damage generated by a chemical company. A story of David vs. Goliath, with a very well-managed dramatic plot. Available on Amazon Prime Video
A Civil Action / A Civil Action (Steven Zaillian, 1998): a classic of this sub-genre of stories of collective justice that focuses on the course involved in embarking on a fight against large corporations, while the affected families continue to await not only monetary compensation but also reparation from those who ruined their lives .
In this drama, the lawyers of a small firm put everything aside to dedicate themselves to this overwhelming case that has all the chips on it for the strongest to win.
A short selection to watch compelling films that also open a debate that transcends the screen.