Wal-Mart Documentary Analysis
Lee Scott, CEO of Walmart 2000-2009
Logos: The director of the documentary knew that he would not convince anyone of their point of view without having some facts to back up their claims. The statistics periodically displayed on the screen were used to provide logical evidence to prove their points. One example of this is when the video showed the number of stores that had had assaults happen on their premises.
Pathos: The director of the documentary used appeals to emotion to get the audience emotionally invested in the film and to create a sense of injustice. Examples of this is when the former Wal-Mart employees were interviewed about the troubles they experienced while working for Wal-Mart and when Laura Tanaka was interviewed about the assault she experienced in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Ethos: Influential people in the world were also brought in to provide credibility for the director's claims. For example Bill Gates’ philanthropy was broached to show how little the Walton family gave to charities and help out communities.
Types of Evidence
Graphic Text: Graphic text is used a lot in this film to help communicate information to the viewers. Its main function is to identify the past employees of Wal-Mart or the protesters being interviewed. Another important function of the text is to emphasize certain facts and statistics about the company. For example after the clip of the actual Wal-Mart commercial about environmental responsibility, text is used to spell out all the scandals involving Wal-Mart's environmental policy since 1999.
Visual Techniques: When filming interviews, the camera focuses fully on the face of the person being interviewed and does not switch to other pictures so that the viewer of the documentary can fully focus on what the person being interviewed is saying. The film is set up so that every time there is a clip off of an actual Wal-Mart commercial, the next scene juxtaposes what was said. For example, after the commercial about how Wal-Mart was great for town, on the screen flashed text that proclaimed that Wal-Mart drives down retail wages every year.