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2017, Economics  -   5 Comments
Ratings: 7.90/10 from 41 users.

Consumerism is thriving in America's dollar stores. In the past decade, the prevalence of these stores has more than doubled. The motor that drives that growth is located over 7,000 miles away in the Chinese city of Yiwu in a mecca for wholesale goods known as the Futian Market. That's where the bulk of the dollar store's bread and butter - cheap and disposable plastic products - are produced. The captivating documentary Buckland introduces us to the traders, buyers and manufacturers who populate this massive operation.

Over $100 million of merchandise can be sold and exported from the Futian Market in any given month. Wholesale agents from around the world comb through more than 70,000 booths in search of the right product at the lowest possible price. Whether buyers are looking for palm-sized stuffed animals, seasonal trinkets of risqué gag gifts, the market is a one-stop destination that keeps the shelves stocked at dollar stores all across the globe. The film follows two of these buyers - one British and the other German - as they discuss the mechanics of doing business in Yiwu, the principles by which they operate, and the challenges they've faced while attempting to integrate into a foreign culture.

The market is also a place where employment opportunities are plentiful for both skilled and unskilled migrant workers. Sadly, these manufacturing jobs usually involve grueling hours, unacceptable working conditions, and a baseline salary of as little as $8 a day. The costs of living have increased, and only a fortunate few are able to sustain their families on a decent wage.

Sellers have had to contend with soaring demands over the years both in terms of the number of products they're asked to supply and the bottom barrel prices at which they're asked to sell them. Production and personnel costs are also on the rise year after year. As a result, quality control is often compromised. This dynamic has made Yiwu vulnerable, and fears persist that the booming industry it has fostered could soon collapse as a result.

Bulkland is an eye-opening expose that reveals the double-edged sword of global capitalism.

Directed by: Daniel Whelan

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Keto Jack
5 years ago

Eye opening and well done documentary. I felt very connected to the film and the way it looked at what we all have wondered - where does the stuff from the dollar store come from.
We buy trinkets and stuff from the dollar stores and it helps people a world away, but does it? Would they have been better off with a simpler life and not gotten caught up in our capitalistic world... $8/day wow. We need to pay wages everywhere that at least allows people a decent place to live, food on the table and a bit left for a rainy day.... great doc, thanks for making it.

5 years ago

I have always wondered where these stores came from. Many years ago, shops would open with 'goods' like these that were run by brokers who purchased companies that went bankrupt and sold of the stock at bargain prices.
The film is very well put together. It explains different points of view. You get the buyer/ seller side of things as well as the lives of the workers and owners. Very enlightening. Bravo.

5 years ago

..."Bulkland" or "Buckland"...?
...what we "need" to do is bring down world population (of humans) to about one tenth of what it is now...but I'd be ok with about one billion, but not more. – Our inability to restrain population growth has destroyed the planet already and there really is no way of "fixing" it anymore....

5 years ago

the Situation is that BIG electronics and JUNK manufacturing countries overseas have cut down All the Trees and Forests they had to help manufacture these electronics and junk and build factories...and crowded artificial cities

Then They sell electronics to Other countries for money,
and then use This money to Buy Trees and Forests from countries that they sold this junk and electronics to ! ...

These FORESTS grew and evolved throughout millions of years to form symbiotic relationships with ferns, mosses, mushrooms and plants to allow Ancient Trees to become Thousands of years old, and these Forests are beyond Any value of money and irreplaceable for Life beings that live there in their God-given Home !

a prognosis now is that by 2100, there wont be ANY wilderness Forests remaining if this continues....

to SAVE our Forests, Jungles and Wilderness, which are the Cradle of Life, biodiversity and Provider of food and Health-support system for the WHOLE Planet and EVERY living being since the beginning of time, - We Need to immediately Stop buying Any new electronics and All other non-essential to survival material things, especially cheap things from overseas .

5 years ago

Wow that was amazing documentary! :D The two businessmen that were interviewed are complete opposites that added depth. Felt like I was actually there interviewing the workers. The way they all gathered at the Talent Recruitment Center looking for jobs and want a higher wages. Its all a waiting to burst... Another Chinese Revolution.