CORRUPTION: Alex Winter's behind-the-scenes story of how an international consortium of journalists broke the story of the Panama Papers plays like a compulsive thriller.
Nick Holdsworth
Nick Holdsworth
Our regular critic.
Published date: February 25, 2019

The Panama Papers – the story of how a small team of investigative journalists from a German newspaper stumbled across the scoop of a lifetime, and then shared it with hundreds of other reporters worldwide – is compulsive viewing.

As compelling as a police procedural, Alex Winter’s documentary plays like a thriller where the tensions builds slowly but surely to a spate of arrests and the downfall of (some of) the high and mighty exposed in a massive leak of material from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

This is a film that exposes the multi-billion global business in tax evasion, systematic legal abuses and the corruption of lawyers, bankers and politicians in effecting what the anonymous whistle-blower ‘John Doe’ (whose words are voiced by actor Elijah Wood) says is still called  «capitalism, but it is tantamount to economic slavery.»

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The sheer scale of lost tax revenues – more than $200 billion a year in the US and major Western countries alone – helps explain why the past few decades have been so kind to the extremely wealthy, the top 1 per cent of whom now own more than the combined assets of the other 99 per cent.

This is a film that reveals the obscene human cost of the greed and effective theft from the public purse, the poverty and wasted creative potential of billions.

It is a film …

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