POLITICS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

On MLK Day, Filmmaker Takes Private Equity To Task

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, filmmaker Robert Greenwald has released a sharp new short film on his topic-de-jour: the excesses of the private equity industry. The video, which is part of a series titled "War On Greed," documents the strain endured by small town economies under the weight of the private equity industry's business structure.

For his new work, Greenwald and his company BraveNewFilms hone in on the town of Rockford, Illinois, whose Gunite plant was part of a company that was bought out, gutted, and sold for a $79.8 million profit by Henry Kravis, head of the buyout firm KKR.

The film depicts emotional workers detailing the changes that took place at their plant, and decrying the unfairness of Kravis earning more in an hour than they do in a year (and -- salt on the wound -- paying a lower tax rate on that income). The footage is interspersed with quotes from King, who frequently intertwined the premises of liberty and happiness to stable jobs and steady income.

"Dr. King represented the fight for justice, and as he so strongly stated, that fight begins with economic fairness," Greenwald told the Huffington Post. "Dr. Kings words inspire us at Brave New Films as we fight the inequities of buyouts which cost workers jobs, pensions and communities their futures. The buyout billionaires led by Henry Kravis represent all that Dr. King was fighting."

Watch the film here: