“Red Obsession” Portrays Wine as a High-Stakes Game of Power and Excess


LION ROCK FILMS

Economics. Politics. Booze. Sex toys. That about sums up Red Obsession, a new documentary by David Roach and Warwick Ross about the rich history and present-day cultural significance of Bordeaux wine. Fastidiously grown and produced in southwestern France, Bordeaux has been a longtime obsession of celebrities, oenophiles, and wealthy imbibers—”beguiling kings, emperors, and dictators alike,” notes narrator Russell Crowe.

The drama here centers on China’s rising thirst for Bordeaux and the resulting surge in demand and price. We are treated to a rapturous display of power, cash, craving, and excess—set to a soundtrack that keeps things just hip enough. Red Obsession features engrossing interviews, from the French vintners so passionate about their traditions to one of China’s most famous Bordeaux collectors—a sex-toy entrepreneur whose cellar is said to be worth more than $60 million. The right bottle can create a lot of excitement, notes one chateau exec. Ditto the film.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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