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The Independent Critic

Bill Jones, Terry Jones, Ben Timlett
Terry Jones, Theo Kocken
John Cusack, Terry Jones, Dirk Bezemer, Zvi Bodie, Philip Bulcock, Tony Hertz (Vocal)
74 Mins.
Brainstorm Media

 "Boom Bust Boom" Opens in New York City on March 11th 
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Serving as just one part of a movement to democratize economics, Boom Bust Boom serves, in some weird yet very obvious way, as a perfect companion piece to the recent Oscar-nominated The Big Short, a film that amidst all its laughs found a way to make economics far more accessible than one might believe possible. Opening in New York on March 11th at the Village East Cinema, Boom Bust Boom will then be available through VOD channels on March 15th and via TUGG starting March 18th before its London premiere on March 23rd.

The film is co-written and co-directed by Terry Jones, whom you most likely know as part of Monty Python with directorial credits that include Life of Brian, The Holy Grail and Erik the Viking among others. So, it may not come as a complete surprise that Boom Bust Boom is as entertaining as it is insightful, though Jones along with co-directors Bill Jones, his son, and Ben Timlett doesn't compromise when it comes to getting his valuable information across. Jones also co-writes the film with Theo Kocken, an entrepreneur and professor of risk management.

The film weaves together animation, puppetry (Yes, really!), expert insight from Nobel Prize winners and economists, and even songs to explain economics in a way that becomes accessible and memorable.

Boom Bust Boom is grounded firmly within one key question - Why are students taught that economic crashes don't happen (and they are)? Jones is bringing to the forefront of the discussion the work of the late Hyman Minsky, a U.S. economist whose name is often mentioned alongside the Lehman Brothers crash. Minsky theorized the inherent instability of a free market ideology. Minsky's theories, initially largely ridiculed, proved to be stunningly insightful during the 2008 market crash that proved the majority of what he'd put forth to be correct. Jones analyzes the direct link between the unstable financial system and our reliance on mainstream economics, shining an uncomfortable light on our past mistakes and directly attributing much of the worlwide crash to huge mistakes by those we trust as our leaders including politicians and central bankers. The film features several notable advocates for change ranging from actor John Cusack to journalists Paul Mason and John Cassidy to such respected experts as Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, and Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Robert Shiller and Paul Krugman.

The resulting film is filled with a-ha moments and such enlightenment that it's nearly impossible to not finish watching it all determined to do what one can to change the system. That may be, perhaps, the film's greatest final stroke of all - the planting of hope. There's a group of students from the University of Manchester who've started a movement to reform economics education, a movement of which this film is part and a movement that recognizes that an educated public is key in moving toward a different direction. The proposal is actually quite simple - build a system that takes into account the foibles of being human and offers just enough of a safety net to allow for the fact that stability breeds instability, a theory that Minsky put forth and a theory that was brought to life throughout the globe in 2008.

Intelligently constructed and emotionally satisfying, Boom Bust Boom has me thinking about it long after I've watched the film and allowed the information to sink in. The film is a call to action and, therefore, one must consider it a success as I sit here ready to act.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic