Running Time: 74 mins.     Rating: 3 1/2 Stars/5 Stars

MPAA Rating: NR

Director: Bill Jones, Terry Jones, Ben Timlett

Genre: Documentary

Country: UK/Netherlands/USA

Language: English

Distributor: Brainstorm Media


The average person, whose attention span is accustomed to things blowing up, sex, fast editing, blood and gore, will happily find some of that actually happens in this documentary too – albeit to puppet-like people and animations. Although there is no sex, sorry.

Many of us well remember those dry, pithy sketches from Monty Python’s Flying Circus on tv and film from the late 60’s to early 70’s. An easier and more accessible wit is woven through BOOM BUST BOOM, co-directed by former Python Terry Jones with his son Bill and Ben Timlett. Here an important message underscores the humor. Jones displays intent concern at how economics is taught and applied today as he walks through centuries of Boom and Bust scenarios examining how it all went down. Literally.

The passion behind the making and message of this film is clearly seen by the interlacing of an incredibly large variety of story-telling methods. These devices include commentary from top economists and Nobel Prize Winners, and clever live action, animation, puppetry and songs.

Minsky-ites, will see their mentor revived and his “financial instability hypothesis” charmingly brought back to life. With an I-can’t-lose euphoria, the masses are like a crazed Christmas crowd at Wal-mart line buying into the next fad. Because this docu-comedy is so shrewdly put together, you are giggling while learning, making this an ideal film for educators as well as what could be required viewing for newbie investors. But shh! Don’t tell the banks!

The list of speakers here is like a who’s who in the Ivy League of Economics and includes PhD’s and Nobel and other high prize winners like Paul Krugman, Daniel Kahneman, Robert J Shiller, as well as actor and writer John Cusack, the ENRON playwright and financial, psychology and sociology experts that do a lot of fun monkeying around. The difference is the majority here aren’t beholden to mainstream speak outside of the “capitalism is stable” and “everyone is rational when it comes to money” notions, and can enlighten us on how the economy really works (or doesn’t). Hint: It might even be make believe.

“Sub-prime” doesn’t exactly refer to a type of mortgage vehicle. We get a clear picture of how Goldman Sachs’ employees categorized borrowers by calling them “muppets”.

Economics students seen in the film, disappointed at not being taught the darker side of economics’ past, have joined together to make where they have organized groups at universities around the world to promote change.

The editing here is also tight and crisp making the 74 minutes fly by. Arrange for screenings on and be sure to also look for the film’s riotously funny closing rap song “Put Your FTSE In My Asset” by Envy coming out on video in 6 weeks.


If you like this recommendations: The Secret Of Oz, The Big Short, 99 Homes