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Distress Signals: An Investigation of Global Television
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada
A Film by John Walker
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America's number 2 export isn't steel or lumber. It's entertainment. So while more audiences worldwide marvel at Dallas' Southfork ranch, regional film and television producers are often ignored in their own backyards.

DISTRESS SIGNALS divulges much about global television and the workings of the market for it. It reveals plenty about attitudes and inequalities in different areas, and provides vivid examples of the use and misuse of the medium - as a preserver of culture, as a forum for sharing ideas, or as a brain deadener.

Shot in North America, Europe, and Africa, DISTRESS SIGNALS probes the frontiers of television's brave new world. From it's largest market/convention at Cannes to a penetrating behind the scenes look at CNN, the film explores the forces at work shaping what audiences around the globe will see - and therefore think - of their neighbors on the rest of the planet.

"In the past few years American corporations have been accused of selling pesticides banned in the United States to other countries, encouraging the use of expensive baby formula in Third World countries, and promoting smoking in China. This slick, well-edited production exposes the dumping of another deadly American product on the global market: American television programming... Certain to be a discussion starter in high school and college media courses, [and] a provocative addition to public library collections." - Video Rating Guide for Libraries

  

55 minutes / color
Copyright: 1991
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Africa, Communications, Economics, Globalization, Media Studies, North America, Western Europe

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