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Payback2012

  • 3.8
Margaret Atwood's visionary non-fiction work "Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth" is the basis for this riveting and poetic documentary on "debt" in its various forms: societal, personal, environmental, spiritual, criminal and, of course, economic. Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES) strikingly interweaves these (sometimes surprising) debtor/creditor relationships: two families in a years-long Albanian blood feud; the BP oil spill vs. the Gulf Coast; mistreated Florida tomato farm workers and their bosses; imprisoned media mogul Conrad Black and the U.S. justice system. With the stunning cinematography and insightful commentary from Raj Patel, Louise Arbour and Atwood herself, PAYBACK is a brilliant, game-changing rumination on the subject.

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1 member likes this review

This is an awesome documentary. The cinematography was great and the score carried the weight of the subject matter. I was glad to see my own ideas shared by a few people in the film. If you are on the right side of any experience it is only because of the time and the place that you are in. Our social constructs are not absolute. The concept of money and debt is a social construct despite the fact that we have convinced ourselves that it is not.

Member Reviews (4)

This is an awesome documentary. The cinematography was great and the score carried the weight of the subject matter. I was glad to see my own ideas shared by a few people in the film. If you are on the right side of any experience it is only because of the time and the place that you are in. Our social constructs are not absolute. The concept of money and debt is a social construct despite the fact that we have convinced ourselves that it is not.

1 member likes this review

Loved it! Beautifully shot. Excellent cinematography. And the unbelievable content and it's structure surpassed all these.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

This is a beautiful film; beautiful in the sense that it takes an intellectually enlightened view into the very phenomenon of debt. The filmmakers broaden the expanse of what is considered debt by including narratives of tort, legal justice, finance, environmentalism, and additionally. Obviously there are additional parallels that can be drawn (and that are comparatively unaddressed), like colonialism and additionally, however, this film does a superb job in leading the audience beyond the conventional constructs of what many consider to be debt and the reversion to its enforcement. Rather than following the unfolding of an actual event, this documentary provides narratives and insights that are told within 1 sitting, yet revealed within an intriguing, progressive and craftily woven manner. This film features Karen Armstrong, and concludes with an optimistic affirmation. The film leaves the consideration for a follow-up documentary specifically on forgiveness and reconciliation. Love And Peace.

disturbing