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2001-05-28
PBS TV "STORE WARS" FILM TO AIR ON PBS

PBS- The film "Store Wars" will air on PBS stations on June 7th. The film, directed by Micha X.Peled, narrates the battle of a small town against the world's largest retail congolomerate. Shot in Ashland, Virginia, (see newsflash entries below), the film follows the efforts of a citizen's group called the Pink Flamingos, as they organize to stop a Wal-Mart supercenter from coming to town. In the film, Wal-Mart is caught misleading voters with incorrect economic information, and the Mayor of this small town is presented with first-hand evidence from another Virginia community that Wal-Mart has had a negative impact on the local economy. The Pink Flamingos beat Wal-Mart once, but the company comes back with a second plan, and the battle spirals downwards. This film captures the uncomfortable details of small town politics and personalities that determine the future quality of life in a typical southern town. The film has more than its fair share of "good old boys", but recreates vividly the pitch Wal-Mart uses in little communities, and the enormous reservoir of emotions that go into a fight over superstore sprawl. The Wal-Mart battle becomes one of the most divisive issues to hit Ashland in years. The ominous conclusion of this film may leave you depressed, but its an accurate profile of what happens when Wal-Mart comes to town. At least the Mayor of this community had to find another political career after this battle was over.

What you can do: For many years, southern towns were not caught up in the sprawl battle. In part, because these were "go along to get along" communities. I showed this film to a group of forestry grad students at Yale University in March, and they were heatedly debating it hours later. Most Americans would wonder why locals would even bother to fight a store. After all, it's just a place to get cheap underwear, right? Store Wars will explain not only why these battles are taking place, but why they are spiking in intensity and frequency all over America, from Belfast, Maine, to Spring Valley, Texas, to Glendale, Arizona. Sprawl is busting out all over! Check your local TV listings for STORE WARS show times on June 7th.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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