Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Follow The Money

follow the money documentary film poster

Appearing at the East End Film Festival on June 17th at the Hackney Picturehouse, an incisive unique documentary by three British film-makers, Follow The Money marks its European premiere.

Follow the Money tells the story of three British men - John Hardwick, Steve Boggan, Ben Unwin - who travel to America and decide to follow a $10 dollar bill around the United States of America interviewing and following people who gain possession of the note. They start in the very centre of America and from there they encounter people of all creeds and colours, shapes and sizes. From farmers to rodeo riders, from British students in Texas to transgenders in California.

The film which begins on a whimsical idea becomes this other narrative of people becoming happy with their existence, it is an element of luck that they encounter the man who in his words 'hitch-hiked from Iran to America for 19 months' and now runs a highly thought of guitar store in San Francisco.

The most thoughtful moments come from a Native American in Dakota who says the intrepid trio are on a journey searching for bliss or the transient man who is happy to still being chasing his dream albeit when living out of his car.  They encounter people who have to encounter race relations, sexual relations, notions of being gay in America to poor people.

What comes across the film which is shot through hand-held cameras, mobile phones using a lovely Sepia old-time filter for the showing of moments from a by-gone era - is a genuine warmth for the country they are visiting and navigating. 

You also get a sense of the bewilderment of travelling with the wind, not knowing where you are going to end up and yet there is a good feeling towards these foreign strangers from all Americans, there is a can do attitude from all who are happy to share stories and tales with the interviewers.

ten dollar bill from belle fourche

In this day and age of fear and terrorism, the sense of Love Thy Neighbour comes firmly across through the power of story-telling, story sharing and friendship with a fascination over the unbelievable. 

Follow The Money is a feel good documentary that will leave you with moments of reflection and pride instead of the usual negative emotional tropes associated with the documentary form.

Follow The Money screens as part of the East End Film Festival on Saturday 17th June

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