American Factory ★★★★½

Usually I'm on the fence with these Netflix films although the documentaries tend to fare a bit better than the fiction films. An this one actually worked like gangbusters for me.

There are some neat insights into the different idiosyncratic cultures at hand. And into the discrepancies displayed. Like telling the Chinese supervisors "America is a place to let your personality run free", where you can even joke about the president ("nobody will do anything to you"). Yet the supervisors from far east essentially live their same life – only without their families. It's all work and no play and makes them dull boys.

Also great how the CEO on one hand advises to not upset the Americans and on the other hand demands a new $35,000 factory gate and the relocation of a fire alarm.

The view of the Americans from foreigners' eyes is interesting. Their critique that the US employees work "very slow" due to their "fat fingers". Comparatively the Americans come off as lazy, however we see on different occasions how the reckless instruction causes physical harm to multiple workers.

My favorite part was the visitation from the US delegation in China. I don't get why the Americans show up in polo shirts (at least Fuyao ones) to what is clearly a celebration. One guy even wears a Jaws T-shirt, for crying out loud. It speaks volumes when at the event performance the Americans get a display of the Minions in the background. Since clearly this is how they are perceived by the Chinese. Discordant and disposable helpers with too much confidence.

Great stuff overall and very tragic for the people of Dayton while at the same time very ironic that Trump promised to bring jobs (back ) to the U.S. and here we have Americans who are dependent on working for the Chinese if they want to survive. Speaks volumes to the current economic political climate.