Debt Society

Series Society & Culture
amsterdam, debt, poverty
6 x 50'
Sarah Sylbing en Ester Gould
HD available

In a working-class neighborhood in North Amsterdam, almost everyone is deep in debt. Every month a parade of heavies, a bailiff, a police officer and a locksmith moves through the streets to evict people from their homes. It’s the ultimate, most dramatic consequence of the centuries-old hunt down on debtors. While the locals struggle with fines, guilt and shame, bailiffs and social workers face locked doors. At city hall, a councilman designates the debt problem as the spearhead of his policy. Meanwhile, the unpaid bills keep piling up.

In Debt Society, we get to know them all: the residents, social workers, creditors, the bailiff and the local politician – inextricably linked with each other. Despite their different motives, they share the desire to find a solution to the problem. This six-part documentary series captures their resilience, hope and sense of humor, but also the absurdity of a money-guzzling system in which everyone plays their own part. You can’t get blood out of a stone. So who pays the price in the end and who is to blame?

In Debt Society, the character-driven storylines, plot twists, poetic voice-over and soulful score are inspired by drama series. Together, they tell a riveting, cinematic tale about a growing phenomenon in the Western world.