Director: Jennifer Baichwal
Screenwriters: Jennifer Baichwal
- 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Jennifer Baichwal’s brilliant documentaries exemplify the alignment of form with content as she imaginatively transposes other artists’ work into the film medium to explore and expand their narratives. In her latest such project, Baichwal undertakes the ambitious task of cinematizing Payback, Margaret Atwood’s visionary book of essays about systems of wealth, justice, and reparation.
Seemingly disparate forays into the worlds of migrant tomato pickers in Florida, feuding clans in Albania, victims of BP’s oil spill, and a repentant inmate all mix with insights from thinkers like theologian Karen Armstrong, ecologist William Rees, public critic Raj Patel, and Atwood herself. Integrating Atwood’s words with their outlooks, Baichwal’s luxurious pacing, arresting imagery, and astonishing juxtapositions stimulate provocative associations among ideas and realities.
Both visceral and revelatory, Payback plunges us deeply into reconsidering the roots of social inequity, what we value, and debt’s profound role as an organizing principle in our lives—one that shapes relationships, society, and the fate of the planet.
- Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition
- Film Type: International Documentary Feature Films
- Country: Canada
- Run Time: 82 min.