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Quite an interesting and entertaining mix of stories taken directly from the highly successful book, some of them further developed into a post-book life (such as the Sumo corruption case, which took on a dynamic of its own) and newly conceived experiments that are unfolding in the film (the bribing of students into getting better by way of a bunch of 50 dollar bills). In some cases the story to be told is more interesting as a case of investigative journalism than as an example for the economics of life (again the example of Sumo, where the incentive scheme for cheating is clear after five minutes, but where the directors could not resist the temptation of telling how the story unfolded into a decent crime story, including murder).

The segments are directed by different directors, most of them well-known, sometimes in a straightforward fashion, sometimes with innovative animations. In particular the “It’s (not always) a wonderful life” shows some interesting and fun optical fancies, on the brink of being over the top, but not quite.

I read some not very enthusiastic reviews of the film, and they usually coincide with scolding of the books as being superficial and non-scientific. I disagree, I do like both, because they show how economic instruments can shed light on real-life phenomena, which is what economics is supposed to be about.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/movies/30freak.html?_r=1

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/freakonomics/

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