Margaret Atwood's visionary 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 Earth; mistreated Florida tomato farm workers and their bosses; imprisoned media mogul Conrad Black and the U.S. justice system. With stunning cinematography and insightful commentary from renowned thinkers Raj Patel, Louise Arbour and Atwood herself, Payback is a brilliant, game-changing rumination on the subject.
- Jennifer Baichwal
- Run Time
- 1 hour 26 minutes
You can't help feeling that the movie owed its subject - and its audience - a bit more.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 04.24.2012
A rarefied conceptual docu that will appeal to a limited but highly appreciative audience.Rob Nelson, Variety, 02.06.2012
Cinematic globe-trotting doesn't necessarily trump reading a good book, it turns out; then again, more movies should be burdened with the flaw of being too intellectually curious.Mark Holcomb, Village Voice, 04.24.2012
Ultimately, this intriguing but scattershot movie turns on the incompatibility of two worldviews - the corporate-financial vs. the environmental-spiritual.Mark Jenkins, NPR, 04.26.2012