DOXA 2019 review: Call Me Intern

(New Zealand)

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      It’s no secret that the unpaid internship has emerged as a new mutant standard of labour exploitation in the 21st century.

      This doc doesn’t quite get to grips with the subject, which is complicated by class divides and then confused further—as we see more than once here—by the widespread cultural fiction that “experience” is some sort of actual currency. A framing device in which filmmaker Leo David Hyde poses as a homeless intern at the UN is underdeveloped, but does at least reveal the kind of doublethink they’re capable of in Geneva.

      More affecting are the stories of African-Americans Kyle (who really does end up homeless, thank you Warner Music Group) and Marisa, who encounters harassment along with the standard penury in her work for—wait for it—Obama’s reelection campaign.

      But even here, an amazing opportunity to examine the function of identity politics inside the meat grinder of neoliberalism goes largely unfulfilled.