Margaret Atwood's 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 Earth; 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.
You can't help feeling that the movie owed its subject - and its audience - a bit more.
A.O. Scott, New York Times - April 25, 2012
Payback is nothing if not brave.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail - April 25, 2012
The compelling human stories are often stalled behind a logjam of interviews with experts and intellectuals that are intended to add perspective but disrupt the movie's flow.
Linda Barnard, Toronto Star - April 25, 2012