On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by Jon Shelton, professor of democracy and justice studies at University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, for a deep dive on the 1985 classic Back to the Future.

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

According to a 2021 study, the United States trails behind nearly every country in the European Union when it comes to economic mobility and opportunity. Much of that disparity is systemic: Class, race, and gender contribute to whether a young person will become more or less financially prosperous than their parents. 

Almost 40 years ago, Robert Zemeckis' sci-fi comedy Back to the Future spoke to this phenomenon. In today’s episode, the MVC group discusses the film’s focus on hyper-individualism as it relates to economic mobility. They also critique the character of Doc Brown for his reckless “Silicon Valley-esque” scientific approach, and unpack the flawed sexual politics ascribed to the lead female character, Lorraine Baines McFly. 

For next week’s movie, MVC will be watching Michael Cimino’s epic Western Heaven’s Gate.


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