Katharine Round’s new and enlightening documentary, The Divide, invites the audience into the lives of seven very different members of UK and US society to provide an insightful perspective of inequality and its damaging effects in today’s world. First-hand accounts through the eyes of the subjects invoke a deep sense of empathy and reaffirm the need for the restoration of a fair society that will give people an equal chance of success.
Inspired by the book The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, the documentary highlights varying degrees of social division and class consciousness and provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what life is like for those suffering with financial hardship, as well as those in more financially stable positions, who are committed to providing a better life for their children.
It is apparent from the outset that the film will be thought-provoking, taking audiences on a journey to unveil the harsh realities of an imbalanced world, however, the director does a fantastic job in fluctuating scenes and sentiment to keep the viewer informed, interested and entertained. By amalgamating unique perspectives, emotive cinematography, unintended laugh-out-loud humour and key historical references, Round succeeds in communicating the importance of collective responsibility, to remedy the current state of economic affliction.
Most accept that the distribution of wealth in our society is disproportionate, but how far do we understand the influence this has on society and on future generations? From inequalities in life expectancy, increased divorce rates, epidemics of violent crime and toxic escapism, the impact of financial strain can no longer be masked, and Round should be commended for bringing such a significant topic to the big screen.
The Divide is a poignant eye-opener that encourages the need for awareness, empathy and change, for a better future.
The Divide is released in selected cinemas on 22nd April and nationwide on 31st May 2016.
Watch the trailer for The Divide here: