While CorpWatch's work is about drawing attention to the impact of
corporations on our world, in this case we have played an unusual role. For
the past two years, CorpWatch has helped a filmmaker who had to keep his
identity concealed while spreading his field research as widely as
possible. The announcement we have posted, drew a considerable
number of e-mails, mostly by Wal-Mart workers outraged by the treatment
they had received from their employer. We forwarded these e-mails to the
filmmaker, who then decided on his own whether to respond. Wal-Mart's
questionable practices have given rise to a number of lively sites and
chatrooms which the company is believed to be monitoring closely. For that
reason the filmmaker, who also depended on continued camera access to the
company, approached us with this unusual request. Now the film is
completed and we can unveil the project and our role in it.
STORE WARS, written, produced and directed by Micha Peled, follows the
one-year conflict that polarizes Ashland, Virginia, population 7200, when
Wal-Mart decides it wants to build a megastore on the edge of town. The
ensuing debate pits neighbor against neighbor in a battle as protracted and
bitter as those fought in the Old West between ranchers and farmers over
The struggle between conflicting versions of the American dream has on one side those who want to preserve their seemingly idyllic small-town way of life versus those who believe in the positive economic benefits Wal-Mart promises.
A truly American story, STORE WARS is about the right of a community to determine its own future: Which values are most important? Who gets to decide? Presented by ITVS, STORE WARS will be showing in the SF International film festival, on Wed. Apr. 25 at 9:15 at the Kabuki theater in San Francisco. It will air nationally on PBS in June.
STORE WARS is produced, directed and written by Micha X. Peled. The
associate producer is Monica Z. Lam. Allen Moore is the director of
photography, with sound by Bob Silverthorne. The film is edited by Ken