Freakonomics is a documentary based on the best selling book of the same name about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. The documentary, which is essentially four mini documentaries connected by vignettes featuring Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner discussing other issues raised in their book.
These four documentaries are produced by some of the best current documentary makers, responsible for bringing us the likes of Super Size Me, Jesus Camp, Enron, Why We Fight and The King of Kong.
The topic covered vary wildly, from the implication of name choice in a child’s personal development, match fixing is Sumo wrestling, the decline in urban crime in the USA (and it’s connection to the legalisation of abortions) and looking at the effectiveness of bribing 9th Graders into achieving higher scores.
Freakonomics is a fascinating and humorous look at human behaviour that manages to engage your grey matter, but it wasn’t until the following day that I realised just how much I had been thinking about Freakonomics when I was at The Warehouse and was unusually interested in the name tag of the checkout girl. Morgan Spurlock’s look at the long term effects of naming our children has started me down a road where I’m now going to be subconsciously analysing everyones names…
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read