EXTRAS: None IF a film is rated on its contemporary relevance to the man in the street, rather than on the performances within it, then this truly frightening documentary by writer director Patrick Creadon and co-writer Christine O’Malley deserves high marks indeed. Who among us truly understands the global financial crisis and why the world looks likely to be royally screwed by it? Even PM Kevin Rudd is not above buying into the attractive notion ( attractive because it absolves us and the rest of the world of blame) that some greedy ratbags on Wall Street, who took huge salaries and fed Mama and Papa USA to the wolves of the sub-prime mortgage belt, caused it all. Unhappily, the story of the gigantic and chronic budget deficit in the US can be traced back to before Gordon Gekko, whose 1980s mantra ‘‘ greed is good’’ now rings so hollow. It has its roots, would you believe, in the 18th century. The American War of Independence kicked it all off, and by 1789, on the first day of federal government, the national debt was $ US75 million, about 30 per cent of GDP. This freaked the American founding fathers out of their gourds and they acted quickly to pay it down. They achieved a zero national debt in 1835, for the first and, incredibly, the only time in US history. With stunning graphics and in everyman language, this important film gets to the heart of the present crisis and helps put it in a historical context of greed far beyond Wall Street.
( M) Accent ( 85 minutes) $ 29.95