Global Haywire reflects it’s title brilliantly. It is a frenetic busy film that visually reflects the chaotic nature of its subject matter – the mess of the world and the global clash between East and West.
Global Haywire fits in the realm of documentary, but employs a fictional narrative to portray the issues with the fictional aspect of the visual offering being displayed as animation, using the work of the Australian political cartoonist and satirist, Bruce Petty, who is also the writer and director.
Global Haywire is a bold project that traces global issues through the story of a character called Vince, who seems to be loosely based on the endeavours of Leonardo Da Vinci. Vince’s footsteps and endeavours are followed by a committee investigating why the world is so messed up.
Interspersed between the animations are interviews with well known intellectuals and cultural commentators such as Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Gore Vidal and Arundathi Roi, alongside various students from the Eastern and Western worlds.
The targets are clear and there are no punches held back when demonstrating what the filmaker believes to be the reasons for the world’s mess – colonisation and capitalism. With this in mind, it is easy to see why Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk appear prominently in the film.
In a time when there is a glut of films dealing with global issues, Global Haywire is a very different offering that does not follow the normal rules. It often feels cluttered and certainly takes a lot of concentration to follow, but I can’t help but feel this is deliberate as it reflects the chaotic mess of the world that it is trying to address.
One very refreshing aspect of the film is its move away from simply interviewing “experts” and taking the opportunity to give voice to student opinions on both sides of the East/West divide.
As one approaches the film we need to remember that this is a look at mostly historical events and as with anything, they are seen through a lense, the bias of the person/group bringing us the film. Whether we agree and sympathise with the perspective of the film or not, Global Haywire certainly offers something different to the tried and true documentary genre, but it’s not a lazy evening watch. This is a film to be watched when looking for an intellectual challenge.
Reviewed by: Frank Ritchie.
Rating: M – Content May Disturb.
Duration: 105 mins.
Genre: Documentary, Australian, Australian & NZ, Culture & Society.
Director: Bruce Petty.
Starring: Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Robert Fisk, Tariq Ali.
Release Date: Available now.