Fear and Nostalgia in Times of Crisis: The Paradoxes of Globalization in Oliver Stone’s Money Never Sleeps (2010)

  • Elena Oliete-Aldea Department of English Studies, University of Zaragoza, Spain
Keywords: Globalization, film, culture, economy, borders, crisis


The intense interconnectedness of 21st century globalization has provoked continuous re-definitions of the political, cultural, economic and social frontiers. The imminent consequence of these constant changes is an increasing feeling of instability and uncertainty in the postmodern individual, ultimately leading to vulnerability and fear. This anxiety has provoked a nostalgic search for the shelter of a community, symbolically represented by the ’home’: the place where human bonds could make up for the unpredictable border-crossing forces of globalization. The question that remains is whether this ’home’ is real or just a reflection of memories of imagined past securities.

After a brief analysis of the contemporary processes of globalization in the light of the 2008 economic crisis, my aim in this paper is to study how the crossborder movements, which had optimistically facilitated the liberalization of global economies, have now become a source of threat and fear for U.S. American individuals. More concretely, I propose to focus on Oliver Stone’s film Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps (2010), as I believe that both this cinematographic production reflects and questions the anxieties and social contradictions that the crossing of political, cultural and economic frontiers has provoked in the context of the contemporary financial crisis.


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Films Cited

Wall Street (Oliver Stone, 1987)

Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)

The Company Men (John Wells, 2010)

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2010)

Margin Call (J.C. Chandor, 2011)