(director/writer: Patrick Creadon; screenwriter: Christine O’Malley/Addison Wiggin/ based on the book “Empire of Debt” by Addison Wiggin and William Bonner; cinematographer: Patrick Creadon; editor: Doug Blush; music: Peter Golub; Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Sarah Gibson/Christine O’Malley; Roadside Attractions; 2008)
“Its aim is to raise awareness of an impending financial disaster if America continues acting fiscally and morally irresponsible.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The film is based on the book “Empire of Debt” by Addison Wiggin and William Bonner. Documentary-maker Patrick Creadon (“Wordplay”) and his producer/writer wife Christine O’Malley bring us this evenhanded and nonpartisan relevant film. Its aim is to raise awareness of an impending financial disaster if America continues acting fiscally and morally irresponsible. It targets those citizens who are not particularly knowledgeable in financial matters and points out the most troubling problem is looming in the future for this boomer-baby generation’s children, as valuable programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are on the path to becoming endangered. It’s hard to make such a bleak subject entertaining, but this informative film does the best it can to explain the fiscal problems so the average viewer can at least understand the alarming scope of the problem by using charts and talking heads (includes David Walker-former U.S. Comptroller, Robert Bixby-the head of the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, Warren Buffett-leading billionaire investor, Paul Volker & Alan Greenspan-former Federal Reserve chairmen and former Secretary of the Treasury-Paul O’Neill) and also nicely spices it up with SNL humor.
President Clinton balanced the budget for the first time in a longtime, but under W. the deficit has soared out-of-control (something like over $8 trillion) and with little to show for such outrageous spending.
This film has something to say that is important about the reckless direction we are on and how it must be changed if we are to survive, even if the choices to gets things under control are difficult. We are emphatically told the only sure ways to balance the budget are to cut taxes or cut the budget or do both.
REVIEWED ON 11/20/2008 GRADE: B+