A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People need to be more aware of the social pressures to buy -- and especially to buy on credit. The film argues that this type of behavior, when seen at the macro level, is what precipitated the financial crisis of 2008, as well as several other economic bubbles throughout history.
Positive Role Models
Many of the voices in the documentary are renowned academics, including several Nobel laureates in economics, and they explain important theories in easy-to-grasp terms.
Occasional swearing, mostly "s--t" and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
The movie's whole point is to discuss the impact of a society ultra-focused on consumption -- and how the endless drive to buy and buy can eventually drag down an entire economy.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Boom Bust Boom is an entertaining (if perhaps somewhat oversimplified) trip through economic history, featuring Monty Python veteran Terry Jones explaining the 2008 financial crisis, as well as several other economic boom-bust cycles in the past several centuries. Jones (who also directed) turns to academics and experts for help, including a few Nobel laureates; and for the really tough ideas, he brings in puppets to show how things work. The whole thing is delivered at about a ninth-grade level, so parents, teens, and older tweens can all watch together and discuss. There's some swearing ("s--t" and "f--k"), but otherwise the content is worry-free. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Boom Bust Boom is probably the most entertaining documentary about economics that's come out in a while. Jones' outrage and sense of the absurd blend well as he paints a picture of the excess and greed that nearly destroyed the global banking system. It's certainly a topic that, as broken down in this entertaining film, tweens and teens will understand, though at times it does feel like some of the ideas may have been oversimplified.
The film gets more interesting in the second half, when Jones and his deep bench of brainiacs explain how the 2008 crisis was just like many, many other bubbles over the past several centuries. Yes, it starts with the Dutch tulip mania that's well-trod and familiar, but then it moves onto other less-famous examples of economic excess. The result makes it clear that 2008 wasn't an isolated event -- it was the latest in a long line of financial crises. Here's hoping we can avoid more in the future.
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Our Editors Recommend
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