Payback is nothing if not brave.
-Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
La Dette (Payback) n'est rien de moins qu'un film de bravoure.
-Globe and Mail


Based on Margaret Atwood' s best-selling book 'Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth', PAYBACK offers a fascinating look at debt, tracing how it influences relationships, societies, governing structures and the very fate of the planet. The film explores the link between debtor and creditor in a variety of contexts - from the mountains of northern Albania to the tomato fields of southern Florida -blending compelling stories of 'owing' and 'being owed' with the insights of renowned thinkers like Karen Armstrong, Louise Arbour, William Rees and Raj Patel, as well as personal reflections from Conrad Black and others. Story and insight are brought into sharper focus by the acute observations of Atwood herself, who demonstrates that 'debt' as an idea lies at the very core of human experience.

Theatrical Release Date

Friday, March 16, 2012
Original Languages: English
Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 86 min.
Year: 2012


Conrad Black
Eric Schlosser
Margaret Atwood
Jennifer Baichwal


Gulf Oil Spill detail. Courtesy of The National Film Board of Canada.
Filmmakers Nick de Pencier and Jennifer Baichwal with Conrad Black (centre). Courtesy of Jeffrey Salter.
Industrial tomato fields, Southern Florida. Courtesy of The National Film Board of Canada.
Conrad Black. Courtesy of Jeffrey Salter.
Margaret Atwood preparing for reading. Courtesy of The National Film Board of Canada.
Blood feud victim, Gjin Prenaga, Northern Albania. Courtesy of The National Film Board of Canada.