Documentary: Let’s Make Money (2008): This film by Austrian Erwin Wagenhofer – which casts a critical eye on capitalism – starts by tracking the hypothetical savings of a typical depositor as they move around the global system, often causing exploitation as various financial agents try to produce high returns.
An interesting approach to story telling as the film eschews a narrator. Instead, the presentation is made through the cinematography and commentary by investment managers, politicians, economists, poor people, homeless people, and workers. Over the course of 1 hour, 47 minutes, the film considers various aspects of the development of the worldwide financial system – focusing on how elitists economically exploit the rest of society, especially in the developing world – but also in western nations.
Documentary Short: Redemption (2013): Nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category, this short film (37 minutes) takes a look at unemployed men and women – referred to as canners – who eke out a meager living by collecting empty bottles and cans and cashing them in at redemption centers.
Trekking throughout the five boroughs, the film follows the cast of characters over a year as they cash in the recyclables at five cents each and reveal the details of their lives and previous occupations.
Available for streaming at HBOGo.