I'm a little late to pseudonymous filmmaker Politizane's viral income inequality video, which peaked in March and has now ratcheted up more than 6 million views on YouTube. Thanks to Errol Morris's Twitter feed, I finally caught up to the vide, and I can see why this powerful but simple use of digital tools coupled with some solid and alarming facts has made such powerful waves in cyberspace. But who made it? And will he strike again?
According to a report at Mother Jones, "Politizane" or "Z," as he signed his messages, said he is a freelance filmmaker "living and working in a red state (Texas)," and staying anonymous in order avoid losing work due to "a vague political affiliation."
The video is based on a chart that was created by Mother Jones based on polling data put together by Dan Ariely and Michael L. Norton, which illustrates Americans' mistaken expectations of wealth distribution vs the harsh realities (see pictured). For the video, Z visualized the disparity with the use of After Effects.
According to Mother Jones, the video, "Wealth Inequality in America," (see below), is his only politically minded video so far. "These issues are simply things I think (and perhaps angst) about in my spare time," Z wrote. "The really incredible thing for me is the simple fact that people are now talking about these issues…So it's pretty neat to open some eyes and get people thinking."
With the breathtaking success of the video--consider that more people have watched it than Oscar winner "Inside Job" and Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" put together--Politizane should be compelled to make another one. And if not he, the popularity of the piece might incite other like-minded creatives to do the same.