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My opinions on the 'Freakonomics' documentary - Printable Version

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My opinions on the 'Freakonomics' documentary - Martin - 03-01-2018

The Freakonomics documentary is a 2010 adaptation of the book which has the same name. The documentary aims to inform the viewer about incentive based thinking, and stars Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. In similar fashion to the book, the documentary looks at human behaviour through the use of case studies.

The documentary has different episodes of sorts, where different actions are described through case studies. These can often make the documentary feel disjointed as it can quickly move from one point to another. It doesn't seem to really add up to a complete package because of the small featurettes.

A point which links the increasing ability to receive an abortion and falling crime rates in the US can be seen as a bold statement, but evidence backs up the claim at least to a decent enough degree.

The documentary tries to convey the same opinions and evidence as the book, but falls short when compared in terms of detail. The case studies are often interesting and thought-provoking, but are too light on detail to really make someone connect with it. A better approach would likely be to reduce the number of shorts shown in the film and explore a fewer number in more depth, giving each topic the attention they deserve.

A favourite of mine was the question on whether children can be bribed to get better grades. However this piece seemed unfinished and it seemed like research was still undergoing, which was disappointing as it is something I would like to have seen further explored and a more concrete answer given.

At least the people in the film are engaging. They bring life to the dismal science as economics if often referred to as. However Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner are scarce in terms of screen time, which is a shame as they were the most interesting and engaging element in my opinion. The documentary certainly asks some interesting questions, but seems to fall through in terms of answering many.

If you have read the book, I don't see much point of watching this documentary. I don't think it offers anything fresh enough to make it worthwhile. If you've not read the book, I think it is an okay place to start before delving deeper into the Freakonomics book.

Rating: 2/5


My opinions on the 'Freakonomics' documentary - ghost - 03-13-2018

For those of us who don't have much economics background unlike yourself, it is a very simple and interesting look into the kind of questions economists try to answer and it has interested me to look into this topic a bit more.