What is the national debt? And why has it grown so much in recent years?   Laure Delesalle’s documentary is a fascinating journey inside the tough landscape of the economy and humanizes us.   It tells the history of the sovereign debt since the Middle Ages until today with panache, rhythm and tons of offbeat images. The direction style is very fast-paced as it talks of the current crisis and takes us towards unexpected solutions to keep the Euro-zone from future crises.  

Director's statement

In 2008, we had a very close call, we almost went bankrupt, it was worse than 1929 and we weren’t told. The “debt machine” was to blame, it keeps on going and instead of creating prosperity, it increases the national debt.   The media talk about it daily, economists on all sides fight about diagnostics as much as about the remedies, European governments are summoned by politicians who play fire fighters during long negotiation nights to balance their budgets and cut spending; the noting agencies keep score, speculators speculate and on the financial markets it’s a game of “tails you lose, heads I win”…   Consequences: Today’s economies are stuck in austerity measures, unemployment gains speed and inequalities are getting worse. That creates social crises, the political parties that lost credibility are collapsing and we see populism growing all over Europe.   The national debt numbers defy the imagination. And, in spite of speeches that either try to simplify, make us feel guilty or indulge in doom mongering, the economic mechanisms remain opaque, difficult to figure out. The crisis is also a crisis of confidence.   Each one of us would like to understand, participate in the decision-making, to bring back citizen sovereignty any democracy needs – the national debt is ours, the one our children will have to pay back. But to make these choices, we must be informed. To be able to decide, we must “know”.  

Why this choice?

A fascinating documentary that takes us inside international finance and the economy.   As the mechanisms of the national debt are explained to us as the history of the various financial events are recounted, leading to the Greek financial crisis, this film helps us –thanks to informed guests – better understand a complex world that sometimes overwhelms us…