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Bank Job – Hot Docs 2021

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A mischievous filmmaking duo creates their own currency and bank with the lofty goal of eliminating debut in . Debt forms the backbone of a financial system, where credit issuers don't want us to pay off our balances. Part of the reasoning for this comes from the fact that 97% of all money is conjured into reality at the moment when banks make loans and that if everyone paid off their debts, there would be hardly any money left in the economy. Filmmakers and artists Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell start a project of creating their own bank and currency, with the goal of buying and destroying £1million of local predatory debts.

Featuring a very tongue-in-cheek framing device of filmmakers Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell being interrogated by police, Bank Job is a documentary about the movement inspired by the Strike Debt group in the United States, founded by Andrew Ross, author of the book “Creditocracy.” The film aims to both enlighten about the “idea of debt and the fiction of money,” as Edelstyn and Powell kick off an elaborate scheme in their town of Walthamstow, in east London. Through the creation of their own bank and currency, the duo hopes to raise real money for local causes in the community and eliminate £1million in local debt.

On the surface, Bank Job can be seen as a piece of infotainment about debt and its role in the economy, with its heist film structure and climatic debt explosion. However, Bank Job is also a film with a message and the official website for the film is continuing the fight to eliminate the debt. While I could have probably done without Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell hamming it up in the fake interrogation scenes, Bank Job ultimately has its heart in the right place.

Bank Job is streaming as part of the 2021 Hot Docs Film Festival


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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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