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Courtesy of Zeitgeist Films

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet
Map & Directions

Directed by Jennifer Baichwal

2012, in English, Spanish, and Albanian


86 minutes


Margaret Atwood regaled Houston audiences in January with her spirited reading and repartee at the Inprint Brown Reading Series. Her visionary work Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth is the basis for this riveting and poetic documentary on “debt” in its various forms—societal, personal, environmental, spiritual, criminal, and of course, economic. Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) strikingly interweaves these (sometimes surprising) debtor/creditor relationships: two families in a years-long Albanian blood feud; the BP oil spill vs. the environment; mistreated Florida tomato farm workers and their bosses; imprisoned media mogul Conrad Black and the U.S. justice system. With stunning cinematography and insightful commentary from renowned thinkers Raj Patel, Louise Arbour, and Atwood herself, Payback is a brilliant, game-changing rumination on the subject.

Community partners: Inprint, The Progressive Forum, and the Houston Cinema Arts Society.