“The American Dream teaches us that if you work hard enough, anything is possible. It’s magical thinking,” says Abigail Disney in a new trailer for “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales.” The activist, philanthropist, and filmmaker is following up her directorial debut, “The Armor of Light,” with a look inside her family business. “Having the last name Disney is like having a weird superpower you didn’t ask for,” she explains in the spot for the doc, which she helmed with Kathleen Hughes.
Walt Disney World is in the business of peddling magic. Behind the scenes, many of its employees are suffering, resorting to sleeping in their cars and going without medical care due to low pay. “The Disney Company is ground zero of the widening inequality in America,” we’re told. Disney emphasizes, “This isn’t just a Disney story — it’s the story of nearly half of American workers who can’t make ends meet.”
In an interview with us ahead of the film’s premiere at Sundance, Disney revealed, “I want people to be thinking about what they do to contribute to the problem by assumptions or expectations they have about low-wage workers. I want them to ask if there needs to be new policies in place, if we have to restore and rebuild our regulatory and antitrust environment, and whether a CEO should sleep well at night when his workers can’t feed their families. I am asking for a fundamental shift in the way we all understand business and its role in society.”
“The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales” opens in Orlando September 16 and launches in New York, additional markets, and on VOD September 23.