Straight after Secret City, Chanan and Salter pursued separate projects to take a break from the hectic period of filming and screening. Lee went off to make The Fourth Estate, and once that was screening, they got back together to make Money Puzzles.
Both Lee and Micheal had been active in the anti-austerity movement, Salter as the activist, and Michael as the chronicler. It seemed natural to make a film about the economic crisis, its political implications and the resistance the presumed solution in the form of austerity.
Lee and Michael set up a crowd funder for this film, raising a couple of thousand pounds, and received pockets of money from their respective Universities – Sussex and Roehampton, and then began filming.
The initial idea for how to make Money Puzzles was generated in an off-the-cuff short we made while producing Secret City.
Michael asked me “what is money” and I gave a spontaneous answer as he filmed. We raised the question – when a bank note in Britain says “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of ten pounds” – well who is the bearer and who will pay them?
The austerity discourse told us again and again that there is no money, that there have to be cuts. Salter questioned this with Jilly Kay in their research on austerity, and Money Puzzles set about providing the answers.
Filmed in Greece, Spain, Belgium and the UK during the economic crisis, Money Puzzles went beyond the question of what to do with money and moved to ask what is this thing that rules us?
You can watch all the episodes of Money Puzzles online.