Counterfeit Culture (2013)





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Movie Info

Counterfeit Culture is a one-hour documentary that explores the dangerous and sometimes deadly world of fake products.
Art House & International , Documentary
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Audience Reviews for Counterfeit Culture

One sentence summary: Fake products can be harmful to your health and your economic welfare. ------- 'Theft on a colossal scale,' 'affects people in every country.' The theft is bait-and-switch on a grand scale. Goods are sold as one brand, but in fact are not made by the company who owns the brand. This includes: medicines, car parts such as brake pads, clothing, accessories, telephones, other electronics, commercial jet parts, military avionics. Part of the enabling processes would be that we use the Internet for mostly anonymous transactions: buy something from a website, never see who is selling it or the store they are selling it out of. Cognitive polyphasia--holding two very different opinions simultaneously about the same issue. Example: thinking it is morally reprehensible to steal something, but at the same time wanting items that we cannot afford, or wanting things we can afford, but only purchase at much cheaper prices. Counterfeit goods are now about 10% of the world's total economy, about 700 billion USD. Putting an end to it? Unlikely. Counterfeiting is like the game 'Whack a mole', but with far too many moles and far too few whackers. Examples: fake copper top batteries that explode, fake OTC drugs, fake guns, fake toothpaste, sunglasses (fake Ray Bans 40 dollars, real ones 200 dollars; real ones have UV protection); fake car parts, like brake pads (takes +40 yards to stop at 80 mph was the example). Purchasing counterfeits leads to easy money, which leads to more easy money, which leads to organized crime, which leads to injection of the counterfeit goods all over the globe. Canada Goose Jackets. These cost about 225 dollars for the genuine article, half that much for the Chinese knockoff. The knockoffs are loaded with health risks in the filler: feces, beaks, feet, unclean feathers, and other bird parts. China is the largest manufacturing nation. They have the ability (revered culturally) to copy anything (!) precisely. This leads to China being the source of 75% of all counterfeit goods marketed in the world. There's a village in southern China where the only industry is copying artwork. Copies of any great (or not so great) artwork can be copied for about 50 dollars. Part of what engenders this is the reverence for exact copying in Chinese calligraphy, which is not easy to learn, and takes much time even after one masters it. One city in China had a complete fake Ikea store and a fake Apple store. The Chinese government shut down the Ikea store at least. Copies of luxury goods are big in Shenzen China, as one segment explored. Rolex watches, DVDs of any movie that has been released, high end purses, and the like. One example was high end headphones, 300 dollars in NA or in EU, 40 dollars in Shenzen. Fake drugs--about 15% of all drug sales are fake. In Africa, it is more like 50%. In China, about 300,000 die every year from use of fake drugs. Canadian case: a woman used OTC drugs bought over the Internet for cost savings. At her autopsy, several elements were found that were very bad: strontium (the radioactive isotope), chromium, manganese, cobalt, arsenic, selenium, uranium (!). At the end of the road, there was a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in India near a rare earth mine; it was thought that the pharmaceutical plant helped themselves to some free waste to cut costs. Mary Schiavo (aviation attorney): fake parts are in the supply chains for commercial airplanes. Her team traced fake parts to Marine One (the president's plane). A crash in Columbia of an American Airlines plane proved that scavengers showed up first, cut out and took hundreds of parts, and these parts were being offered within the week. The Concorde disaster in 2000 started with a bogus part being attached to the plane. To make things worse, commercial airlines fly planes to foreign countries to be serviced. Bogus parts often find their way on to the planes, and inspectors are out of the loop. Counterfeit parts also find their way onto the avionics of US military airplanes. In 2012, 1800 cases were published by the Senate investigatory committee. In the 1990s, the US military changed from buying directly from manufacturers to buying from parts brokers. The investigation of the chips led back to Shenzen, the same city mentioned above. The bogus chips are often recovered from e-waste circuit boards. The method of recovery includes holding the circuit board over a fire until the component's solder melts. This much heat may just as well fry the chip. 'This situation will never change until consumer habits change.' The money from the thirst for cheap fakes fuels the whole cycle. "We've got to grow a conscience.' ----Scores---- Cinematography: 9/10 Clear and sharp. Sound: 9/10 Rather good. Acting: N/A Screenplay: 9/10 Good logical development.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins

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