The Price We Pay

Poster for The Price We Pay

Spring 2015 Documentary series

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Howard Crooks

Screenplay by Howard Crooks and Brigitte Alepin

Rated NR · 1h 33m

View trailer

Director Q&A after the screening.

Smart, eye-opening and incendiary, The Price We Pay examines the timely issue of tax avoidance—specifically, the widespread use of tax havens by multinational corporations, who have managed to deprive governments of trillions of dollars in corporate-tax revenues by attributing their profits to countries with low or non-existent tax rates (such as the Cayman Islands or the Isle of Man) rather than the countries where their operations are located. This practice is (arguably) legal—but is it fair?

With meticulous research and remarkable breadth and depth, director Harold Crooks—who previously exposed the world of big-time corporate malfeasance in such key political documentaries as The Corporation and Surviving Progress—takes us on a fascinating journey as he analyzes the origins, the damaging repercussions and the complex moral issues arising from corporate tax evasion. Tracing the dramatic increase in the off-shoring of corporate assets to the Reagan administration’s dismantling of the welfare state in the 1980s, Crooks follows the thread through to the present day, where tax avoidance has directly contributed to the dominance of the “one percent” and further deepened income disparity and wealth inequality.

Assembling interviews with leading economists and academics from around the world (including Thomas Piketty, author of the New York Times best-seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century) as well as defectors from the world of big finance, Crooks also makes powerful use of footage from government questioning of executives for companies involved in large-scale tax avoidance, such as Barclay’s and Amazon. A vital exposé of the pervasive corruption and often flagrant illegality endemic to modern capitalism, The Price We Pay is a compelling, coherent and forceful call to action.

Director Harold Crooks will join us from New York via Skype for a Q & A following the film.

“Director Harold Crooks’ well-crafted documentary offers a concise, engrossing and occasionally infuriating overview of the ways multinationals avoid taxes by stashing profits in offshore havens.” (Joe Leydon, Variety)