Accessibility statement

Impact of inequality documentary set for UK release

Posted on 11 April 2016

A documentary, inspired by the critically acclaimed book The Spirit Level by University of York academics Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, receives its London premiere on Monday.

The Divide has enjoyed successful festival and preview screenings, but this is the first time tickets have gone on general sale.

The film seeks to expose the widespread effects of increases in inequality through telling the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in the UK and USA. It is directed by Katharine Round.

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, was published by Penguin in 2009 to world-wide acclaim.

The authors show that many modern health and social problems, from drugs and violence to obesity and long working hours, are more likely to occur in a less equal society.

The book, chosen as one of the Top Ten Books of the Decade by the New Statesman and winner of Publication of the Year by the Political Studies Association, has been translated into 23 languages.

It is co-authored by Kate Pickett, Professor of Epidemiology at the Department of Health Sciences, and Professor Richard Wilkinson, Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department.

Professor Pickett, who is the University’s Research Champion for Justice and Equality, said: “It’s vital to communicate important research evidence in ways that engage and interest people. We are delighted that Katharine Round has made a film inspired by our research that packs such a powerful emotional punch.”

The film is being shown at London’s Picturehouse Central to clubs and groups before general release across the UK on 22 April. It will be shown at Picturehouse Cinemas across the country on 31 May as part of Discover Tuesdays, including York’s City Screen.

Following the screening on Monday there will be a Q&A with the book’s authors.

The documentary made its world premiere at the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 and was nominated for Best UK Film at London’s Open City Documentary Festival 2015.

For further information, click here.