Bank Job Review – A Classic ‘Print Money To Write Off Debt’ | Movie
NOTNot to be confused with the Jason Statham Heist, here’s a sympathetic documentary with a big heart and a few punch-the-air moments from team husband and wife Hilary Powell and Daniel Edelstyn. The film is about how they opened a ‘bank’ on their main street in Walthamstow, north-east London, and printed the money – a kind of art-installation-meet-community activism project. On the banknotes, they replaced the queen’s head with portraits of local heroes: one in five food bank founders; a volunteer soup kitchen on the tenner; a youth worker on the 20th; a primary school principal on the 50.
The project was inspired by the Rolling Jubilee Fund in America, which bought $ 3.8 million in student loans in 2014 and canceled the debt. So, with the £ 40,000 raised through the sale of their art tickets, Powell and Edelstyn spent half of the £ 1.2million buyback of debt owed by ordinary people to Walthamstow. (It costs so little because the debt is sold much cheaper in the secondary market as it is unlikely to be fully repaid).
In a beautiful scene, they print letters to let people know their debts have been paid off – posting them in nice, expensive envelopes, not A4 envelopes with windows, which might deter recipients from opening them. The remaining £ 20,000 was donated to the causes that appear on the banknotes.
Slowly, the pair continued to bicker, with financial experts stepping in to explain the rise of the toxic debt culture. The film ends with Powell and Edelstyn blasting a gold Ford Transit van filled with “silver” across the river from Canary Wharf, notes fluttering in the breeze – a symbolic gesture and a tribute to The Italian Job; although unfortunately they fail to blow up the bloody doors.