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PARK AVENUE: Q&A with Nick Fraser

Monday 5th November, 2012

On the eve of the US Presidential Election, we have an exclusive preview of the film which gets to grips with the truth about who really runs American politics. Alex Gibney, maker of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and winner of the Best Documentary Award at this year's London Film Festival, exposes the increasing power of the corporate elite over Washington.

740 Park Avenue, New York City, is home to some of the wealthiest Americans, 'the 1% of the 1%'. Across the Harlem River, 10 minutes to the north, is the other Park Avenue in South Bronx, where more than half the population needs food stamps and children are 20 times more likely to be killed.

In the last 30 years, inequality has rocketed in the US – the American Dream only applies to those with money, and in the palatial apartments of 740 Park Ave, the wealthy are visited by presidents and senators, who are promised millions of campaign dollars in exchange for lower taxes.

Through the story of the two Park Avenues, Gibney puts forward an eloquent argument that the extreme wealth of a few has been used to impose their ideas on the rest of America.

After the film Nick Fraser (editor of Storyville, the BBC's documentary strand) joined us to discuss the film and the larger Why Poverty? series.

Why Poverty? was a cross media event, online and on TV, using films to get people talking about poverty.

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Trailer