Providing important insight and the opportunity to understand the Greek debt crisis and its background, Debtocracy discusses causes and possible ways out. It draws parallels to other similar debt crises from the past and suggests solutions. Honest and bold, it comes as no surprise that this documentary attracted mixed attention online. Most major Greek newspapers and media criticised both its argument and its proposed solution and put it down as one-sided and yet another attempt to promote political propaganda. But with everything that deals with the matter promoting some kind of political interest and everyone behind it having something to gain or lose, isn’t criticizing a film that has no interest in commercial exploitation and that draws logical conclusions from highly acclaimed economic analysts’ interviews, a bit dodgy too?…
Written and directed by Katerina Kitidi and Aris Hatzistefanou, Debtocracy was released in April 2011 and it was distributed online at no cost. Its main language is Greek, however the various interviews included are of economic experts from all around the world, including Eric Toussaint, Manolis Glezos, Samir Amin, Gerard Dumenil and Hugo Arias. Available with English subtitles, the film was viewed by a large international audience and led to The Guardian praising it as highly compelling and perhaps the best film of Marxian economic analysis to have ever been produced.
The problem is explored from far back, its birth in 1821 and first signs during the 1970s. Prominent scholars and analysts give their views on the matter, openly declaring the impossibility of a viable currency without a state behind it. The non-viability of the euro is stated straight from the beginning, and then light is shed onto the currency’s contribution to Greece’s current financial state. As Eric Toussaint puts it, creating Eurozone was like putting Mohammed Ali in the ring with a featherweight boxer and saying, compete against each other and we’ll see who wins.
The documentary draws parallels between the current crisis in Greece and the financial crisis that Argentina experienced from 1999 to 2002, foreseeing a possible worsening of the situation in the near future. At the same time the case of Ecuador is suggested as a potential way out for Greece too. Debtocracy openly suggests reacting against paying this huge public debt and assembling a committee that can analyze where this debt came from and whether it is legal. If such an analysis proves this massive debt to be odious, then people should refuse to pay it and should demand that it is erased.
The views expressed in the film are in favour of Greece and its people. The documentary’s direction is simple and straightforward, and all the information and evidence is laid out in a way that even viewers who are not familiar with the situation can follow. The various opinions and suggestions for solving the problem flow logically from everything that has previously been presented and no matter what flaws one might see in the film, it cannot be denied that Debtocracy gives food for thought.
Debtocracy at IMDb
Debtocracy at Wikipedia
Debtocracy website at debtocracy.gr
Debtocracy: the samizdat of Greek debt at guardian.co.uk
The people of Europe should audit the debt by Eric Toussaint at socialistresistance.org
Greece, a crisis born of neo-liberal madness by Gerard Dumenil (video)
The Impossible Task of Managing the Euro by Samir Amin at forumtiersmonde.net