The Business Ethics Classic, Metropolis

The Business Ethics Classic, Metropolis

As an extra credit project my students can watch the silent film classic, Metropolis, and write a brief essay. They are to tell me in this writing whether or not the film would a useful teaching tool in my Business Ethics class.

There are never more than a few essays written. For this is not the hour and half American version. This is the two and half hour restored version. You might call it the director’s cut.

Here’s the link:

Metropolis (1927) Fritz Lang – Rescore by The New Pollutants – YouTube

An American film company paid for the film to be made but were deeply disconcerted by the powerful social message of the film and had it edited as a sort of halfway monster movie. Thus, the American public was denied the full impact, the power of this amazing motion picture.

This is not so much a motion picture as a prophecy. For today’s one percent closely mirror Fritz Lang’s pampered upper class besotted with their luxuries and unconcerned with the misery inflicted on their brothers buried deep in the earth sentenced by their birth in a lower social class to never ending toil for little benefit.

Not only does the film directly address the unfairness of economic exploitation, it is laden with Biblical symbolism from its references to Molag Bal to Maria’s transformation into the Whore of Babylon, one of the best segments in the film.

This is one of the greatest films of all time, well worth your while and a savage commentary on the perverse cruelty of an economic system where so many labor for so little.