Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is a documentary that, in essence, attempts to shred Wal-Mart's strategy, executives, and mission as being unsafe, unfair, and inhuman. The documentary focuses on a variety of issues starting with how Wal-Mart destroys a town.
It focuses on one family-owned business and a town that had been vibrant and active for years until Wal-Mart came in and crushed the business and, apparently, emptied the town. The owner of the store in question talks about how he and his team needed to focus on service because if you go into the plumbing section in Wal-Mart, no one knows plumbing and that's what will keep the customers coming back.
Apparently not, as the shop closed and the town was deserted shortly after Wal-Mart opened. Additionally lamented is how the government so carelessly subsidizes the growth through tax breaks (which they argue could be used for schools).
It also focuses on Wal-Mart's harsh treatment of its associates. First they show how workers are forced to "eat hours" or work more hours than they are paid. Also, it shows how these same employees simply can't afford to pay for their family's medical bills with Wal-Mart's insurance and Wal-Mart encourages them to use government programs.
Next it looks at how Wal-Mart crushes unionization attempts to improve working conditions. It also covers inhumane working conditions abroad related to Wal-Mart.
The movie covers how Wal-Mart's inattention to security in the parking lots has resulted in crimes perpetrated against their shoppers. In the movie, they come right out and ask how a multi-billion dollar can't pay for golf-cart driving security forces because a study proved that crime went to zero when they did.
Finally, it shows how several communities won battles with Wal-Mart to keep them out. It appears more often than not, it's done by a city council vote.
I thought the movie was mildly interesting and poorly done. I understand this type of movie is a specific point of view. I was indifferent going in and am still indifferent about Wal-Mart.
I compare The High Cost of Low Price to Fahrenheit 9-11, where I was sort of against President Bush and the war previous and staunchly opposed after watching the movie. The difference for me was the way the case was built. In The High Cost of Low Price, there is not enough context for relevant facts that interests me.