INVISIBLE HANDS (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Documentarian Shraysi Tandon illuminates the horrific condition of child laborers in developing countries. It will be hard for the audience to go back to their lifestyles of cheaply-manufactured clothing and plastic goods after Invisible Hands shows them about how those products got to the marketplace in the Western world. The ending of this film takes an odd turn, though, because its projection of the future of this issue seems unrealistically optimistic. (GPG: 3/5)

Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Referencing Adam Smith’s idea that capitalist markets produce the best outcomes for everyone in society without visibly forcing anything to happen, Invisible Hands thoroughly refutes its namesake’s thesis. The child laborers in this film are enslaved everywhere from Indonesia and China, to the United States itself. Viewers under the impression that the United States treats its children more humanely than developing countries will be shocked to hear the stories of middle-school age tobacco pickers who absorb enough nicotine through their skin to vomit repeatedly at work, and in some cases have to go to the hospital from the toxicity. One such child tells the camera that her boss told her to keep working when she vomited at work the first time, because “it happens to everyone.”

Invisible Hands is a film that everyone who shops at stores like Target, Walmart or Walgreens should see. People who buy fashion items like Revlon or Maybelline makeup, clothes from major outlets like H&M, and purses from brands like Chanel and Coach should check it out as well. People who own smartphones should also make a point of seeing this movie. You should especially see this movie if you buy products made with cocoa powder. You get the idea. Invisible Hands will show you that Western “free-market” capitalism comes from a substantial part of the global population who is not in any sense free.

Despite its informative exposition of child labor driven industries, the ending of Invisible Hands is baffling, because its optimism about this situation seems completely disconnected from what the rest of the movie shows us. The ending tells us about various consumer movements that have gotten certain companies to discontinue use of child laborers, especially Apple, which has cracked down on child labor in its factories in China. The emphasis is squarely on the improvements being made, even though compared to the scale of the problem shown in the rest of the film these changes are clearly infinitesimal in the scheme of things. It almost seemed to me like Ms. Tandon didn’t want the movie to be a downer, and added in this light ending so that Western audiences wouldn’t be too depressed after seeing it.

I don’t think this strategy for the ending was the right move, because to give audiences the absolution of these few small acts of progress risks letting them forget the main message of the film—the sheer saturation of Western markets with goods produced through child labor. Apple might be doing the right thing due to consumer pressure, but one main point the film makes is that the entirety of Western capitalism depends on child labor and other forms of slavery to prop up consumerist culture with cheap commodities. Small changes to a system that is quite literally synonymous with slavery will not solve this problem, despite what the (probably quite affluent) viewers of this film might like to believe.

© Giorgi Plys-Garzotto FF2 Media (1/21/19)

Q: Does Invisible Hands pass the Bechdel-Wallace test?

Not really, because as a documentary there are not any scenes with conversations between women like in a fiction film.

Top Photo: A child laborer.

Middle Photo: A child laborer at work.

Bottom Photo: Child laborers with the produce they collect.

Photo Credit: Shraysi Tandon.

Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

By Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Giorgi Plys-Garzotto is a journalist and copywriter living in Brooklyn. She especially loves writing about queer issues, period pieces, and the technical aspects of films. Some of her favorite FF2 pieces she's written are her review of The Game Changers, her feature on Black Christmas, and her interview with the founders of the Athena Film Festival! You can also find more of her work on her website!

134 comments

  1. It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before ending I am reading this wonderful
    article to increase my know-how.

  2. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after browsing
    through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I found
    it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  3. Terrific work! This is the kind of info that are meant to be shared around the
    internet. Disgrace on the seek engines for not positioning this
    post upper! Come on over and talk over with my web site .
    Thank you =)

  4. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you
    shield this hike.

  5. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    previous to and you are just extremely wonderful.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are
    stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible.

    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful web site.

  6. I just could not go away your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed
    the usual info an individual provide to your guests? Is going to be again continuously in order to inspect new posts

  7. Hi there to every one, as I am in fact keen of reading this website’s post
    to be updated on a regular basis. It carries
    nice stuff.

  8. Hello there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how
    to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve
    this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.

    Many thanks!

  9. What’s up, this weekend is nice in favor of me, because this time i am reading
    this enormous informative paragraph here at my house.

  10. hello!,I love your writing so so much! percentage we be in contact more about your
    post on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to solve my problem.
    May be that is you! Looking forward to peer you.

  11. No matter if some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she wishes to be available that in detail,
    therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  12. I am curious to find out what blog platform you are utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any solutions?

  13. You’re so awesome! I do not believe I’ve truly read through something like this before.
    So nice to discover someone with some unique thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up.

    This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  14. I pay a visit everyday some sites and blogs to read articles
    or reviews, however this weblog gives feature
    based writing.

  15. If some one needs to be updated with hottest technologies afterward he must be pay
    a quick visit this web page and be up to date every day.

  16. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend
    your website, how could i subscribe for a blog web site?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  17. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire
    someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to
    design my own blog and would like to know where u got this
    from. cheers

  18. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme
    in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You have
    done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to
    you.

  19. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and everything. But think of if you added some great photos or
    video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and
    videos, this blog could undeniably be one of
    the very best in its field. Awesome blog!

  20. This is very fascinating, You’re an overly professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and stay up for in the
    hunt for more of your magnificent post. Also, I
    have shared your web site in my social networks

  21. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and
    interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is an issue that too few men and women are
    speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something relating to this.

  22. Hello to all, the contents present at this web page are really awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  23. Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new
    project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us
    beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful
    job!

  24. I feel that is among the such a lot significant info for me.
    And i am satisfied reading your article. But should observation on some normal issues, The
    site style is ideal, the articles is truly great : D.
    Just right activity, cheers

  25. Good day I am so delighted I found your blog page, I really found you by
    accident, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something
    else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable
    blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have
    time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  26. We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for.

    Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here.
    Again, awesome site!

  27. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful information particularly the last part :
    ) I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  28. Link exchange is nothing else however it
    is simply placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at suitable place and other person will also
    do same in favor of you.

  29. This excellent website really has all the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  30. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or
    guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same
    ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send
    me an e mail.

  31. Hey very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m glad to find a lot of helpful information here in the post, we’d like develop extra techniques on this regard, thank
    you for sharing. . . . . .

  32. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so
    I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good blog!

  33. No matter if some one searches for his required thing, therefore
    he/she desires to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  34. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your weblog? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of
    the information you present here. Please let me know if this
    alright with you. Thanks!

  35. I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and
    coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.

  36. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images
    on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  37. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I
    find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others
    like you helped me.

  38. If some one desires to be updated with most recent technologies
    after that he must be pay a quick visit this web site and be up
    to date all the time.

  39. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker
    who has been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner simply because I discovered it for him…

    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this issue here
    on your website.

  40. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found
    this board and I find It really helpful & it helped me out much.

    I hope to give something again and aid others such as you helped me.

  41. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might as well check things
    out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page again.

  42. Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room
    mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  43. Aw, this was a really good post. Taking a few minutes and
    actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  44. It is in point of fact a nice and helpful piece of info.
    I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful info with
    us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  45. I’ve been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  46. I think this is among the most vital info for me. And i’m glad reading your article.
    But want to remark on few general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D.

    Good job, cheers

  47. If you would like to grow your familiarity
    simply keep visiting this website and be updated with the latest information posted
    here.

  48. At this time it sounds like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform
    out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re
    using on your blog?

  49. Right now it seems like Expression Engine is the top blogging platform out there right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  50. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. However
    imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this blog could definitely be
    one of the most beneficial in its field. Amazing blog!

  51. I was recommended this web site through my cousin. I am not positive whether or not this post is written by means of him as
    nobody else recognise such targeted about my trouble.
    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  52. This is the right web site for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic.

    You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been discussed for years.
    Great stuff, just great!

  53. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I
    am experiencing issues with your RSS. I don’t know
    the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having the same RSS issues?
    Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  54. I constantly emailed this web site post page to all my associates, for the reason that
    if like to read it next my friends will too.

  55. Good day I am so grateful I found your web site,
    I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like
    to say many thanks for a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also
    love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have saved it and also
    added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more,
    Please do keep up the great work.

  56. Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  57. Admiring the hard work you put into your site and
    detailed information you present. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once
    in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
    Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  58. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is
    time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I may I wish to recommend you few fascinating things
    or advice. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles regarding
    this article. I wish to read more issues about it!

  59. If you are going for finest contents like myself, only pay a
    visit this site every day for the reason that it gives feature contents, thanks

  60. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show
    up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

  61. Excellent items from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have acquired right here, really like what you’re saying and the way through which you assert it.

    You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to stay it sensible.
    I can not wait to read far more from you.
    That is really a wonderful web site.

  62. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and
    I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give
    something back and aid others like you aided me.

  63. Magnificent items from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    prior to and you are just extremely fantastic.

    I actually like what you’ve received here, really like what
    you are saying and the way in which by which you say it.
    You are making it entertaining and you still care for to keep
    it smart. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is really a terrific web site.

  64. Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post
    is simply cool and i could assume you are
    an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me
    to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  65. Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so
    I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the
    information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to
    my followers! Outstanding blog and amazing design.

  66. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place and other person will also
    do same in favor of you.

  67. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this website needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

  68. Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace,
    when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this good post.

  69. Unquestionably believe that that you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest factor to take note of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while other
    folks consider concerns that they just don’t recognize about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as neatly as outlined out the whole thing with
    no need side-effects , other folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more.

    Thanks

    Also visit my website agen poker pulsa

  70. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site.
    You have some really great posts and I think I would be
    a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love
    to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link
    back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested.
    Thank you!

  71. Thanks for another informative website. Where
    else may just I get that kind of info written in such a
    perfect method? I’ve a venture that I am just now running on, and I have been on the look out for
    such info.

  72. I was suggested this website via my cousin. I am not certain whether this publish is written through him as no one
    else recognize such specific about my trouble.

    You are wonderful! Thank you!

  73. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of
    area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.

    Studying this info So i am glad to exhibit that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I
    came upon just what I needed. I such a lot indisputably will make sure to do not fail to remember this website and give it
    a glance on a relentless basis.

  74. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly
    benefit from each other. If you are interested
    feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Excellent blog by the way!

  75. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site,
    how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered
    bright clear concept

  76. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?

    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is
    rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  77. Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to
    say that I acquire in fact loved account your
    blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I
    achievement you get right of entry to persistently quickly.

  78. Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i
    read this piece of writing i thought i could also create comment due to this good piece of writing.

  79. Excellent way of describing, and pleasant article to get data on the topic of my presentation focus, which i am going to present in university.

  80. Thank you for every other informative blog.
    Where else could I am getting that type of info written in such
    a perfect means? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

  81. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your put up is just nice and that i can think you are knowledgeable on this subject.

    Fine with your permission allow me to seize your feed to keep up
    to date with approaching post. Thank you one million and please carry on the
    gratifying work.

  82. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with
    your blog. It seems like some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and
    let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This could be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Appreciate it

  83. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a
    visit this blog on regular basis to get updated from hottest news update.

  84. Hey There. I found your weblog the use of msn. That is a very smartly written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful
    info. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

  85. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to
    browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look
    when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing blog!

  86. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great
    blog!

  87. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

    Very useful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot.
    I was seeking this particular info for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  88. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  89. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site,
    how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  90. But as a substitute of using excessive-stress gasoline to generate thrust,
    the craft makes use of a jet drive to create a powerful stream of water.

    The policy on gasoline differs between firms as nicely.
    The TDM Encyclopedia. “Car sharing: Vehicle Rental Services That Substitute for Private Vehicle Ownership.” Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
    University of California Berkeley, Institute of Transportation Studies.
    Santa Rita Jail in Alameda, California (it’s close to San Francisco,
    no shock) makes use of an array of gas cells, photo voltaic
    panels, wind turbines and diesel generators to power its very personal micro grid.
    However, many nonprofit automobile-share organizations are doing fairly properly, reminiscent of City CarShare in the San Francisco Bay Area and PhillyCarShare in Philadelphia.

    So you may be asking your self, “Wow, if automobile sharing is so well-liked and straightforward, ought to I be doing it too?” To search out out extra about who can profit
    from sharing a car and to learn about the best way
    to contact a automobile-sharing firm, proceed to the following page.

  91. After I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked
    the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now
    on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    Is there a means you are able to remove me from that
    service? Many thanks!

  92. Asking questions are genuinely pleasant thing if you are not understanding something completely, however this paragraph provides
    nice understanding even.

  93. I have been exploring for a bit for any
    high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site.
    Reading this info So i am satisfied to show that I’ve a very excellent uncanny
    feeling I found out exactly what I needed.
    I most certainly will make certain to don?t put
    out of your mind this website and give it a glance on a relentless basis.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *