Showcase of the winning 2022 Feature Film at the POLITICAL Feedback Film Festival.
HOT MONEY, 118min., USA,
Directed by Susan Kucera
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley Clark and his son Wes Clark Jr. take us on a journey through the complicated realities of our financial system and its profound exposure to climate change. Hot Money outs the whole game, the whole charade, the whole crapshoot of the money system with all the humor and intelligence of a New Yorker cartoon. Combined with the wisdom of international business experts and academics, Hot Money is rich with historical context. It severs the knot of economic and political forces that may lead to societal collapse.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
Susan Kucera has been working in film since her youth, first as a camera assistant studying the Athabasca Glacier creating educational short films with her father, Glaciologist, Dr.Richard Kucera, for Encyclopaedia Britannica Film Corporation, then as a screenwriter and director of documentaries.
She produced, wrote, directed, and filmed Trading on Thin Air starring Nation Magazine’s Alex Cockburn (2009). She wrote, filmed, directed, edited, and co-produced For the Love of Tango starring Broadway’s Forever Tango, Jorge Torres (2014). She directed and filmed Improv(e) (2011) a documentary short highlighting the work of the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company and the teens from John C. Fremont High School in LA. She directed, filmed, and edited award-winning Breath of Life, starring Richard Dawkins (2014). Susan is director and cinematographer of the film Living in the Futures Past, a collaboration with Academy award-winning Jeff Bridges. The film has won multiple awards including the New York Film Festival and the UN gold medal for Outstanding Achievement in International Communications which best exemplifies the ideals and goals of the United Nations.
Susan lives in Hawaii and Washington State. She enjoys small-scale farming and hiking in between her time filming. Susan’s documentaries have been featured in the U.S, Canada, and the UK on National Geographic, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Shaw, NHK, KCET, LINK TV, Time Warner, and schools and universities as well as translated for and featured on platforms in China, Germany, and Argentina.
I met General Clark and his son Wes Jr. while filming Living In the Future’s Past then met the General again at a speaking engagement two years later and the kernel of a film planted itself in my mind – a conversation between a father and son on how climate change will affect our financial system. It seemed logical to follow up to the introspective Living In The Future’s Past with a nuts and bolts view of how the machinery of our money system contributes and reacts to climate change. We lined up a broad and diverse cast of experts who’ve spent their lives doing the work. What we could see emerging was an easy to understand story whose depth is masked by its light-hearted breeziness. The Covid 19 pandemic cut short our filming and I turned to a New Yorker cartoonist to visualize concepts so somebody like me, who doesn’t have an MBA or ever worked in finance, can be simultaneously entertained and enlightened about one of the prime forces driving our world – debt.
Hot Money is an important film for right now as America stands on the brink of conflict. Many people lack context interpreting the world and this documentary delivers it. Conversations taped more than a year ago about wildfires making homes impossible to insure and the ripple effect that will roar through the financial system seem as startlingly prescient as the scenes describing populist breakdown in a country like Venezuela and how it can happen here. Hot Money offers a glimpse into our future and a chance to avoid the dangerous course we are on. To solve a problem we have to understand it.