Is there an American ruling class? And if there is, how do I join? That's what our two hapless Yale grads, Mike and Jack, want to know. Lewis Lapham, the jaded socialite-cum-muckraker editor of Harper's, is Mike and Jack's guide in this star-studded journey through America's establishment. We get to meet Kurt Vonnegut, Walter Cronkite, Mike Medavoy, Robert Altman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Vartan Gregorian, Martin Garbus, Bill Bradley, Larry Summers, James Baker, Pete Peterson, Hodding Carter, and even the small but insistent opposition voice of Pete Seeger, as Mike attempts to find out whether a good banking job is all that his future holds for him and Jack decides whether his offer from Goldman Sachs is the right first step to take. Under John Kirby's direction, the film is an over-the-top sketch, with some good hard pokes at the complacency of this nation's elite college graduates, a habit of reflexivity, and an occasionally surrealistic touch. It provides more evidence that there's plenty of energy in the melding of documentary and fiction. Will Mike give up his chance at the Great American Novel and take that banking job? Should he? Whatever your answer, you'll love to hear from these mentors in the ruling class-which might or might not exist. Judge for yourself.
The American Ruling Class marks the feature directorial debut of John Kirby. He has produced and edited for many major broadcasters, including numerous projects for the award-winning Blowback Productions. His credits as an editor include HBO's America Undercover documentaries Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder and the Emmy®-award winning, Thug Life in D.C. With his production partner Libby Handros, Kirby recently completed The Good Fat Diet, a groundbreaking study of the role of Omega-three fatty acids in human nutrition, to be released this year on public television.