Dirty Money – Netflix Original Docu-series
|No. of Episodes||6|
|Release Date||January 26, 2017|
You do not need to study finance to understand that dirty money exists. In recent times, its become increasingly obvious that those at the top are playing a game in an entirely different universe. With a scandal a day on every news outlet, the investigatory public get angrier with each case. Tax avoidance leaks, voter hacking, Weinstein; they all have something in common – money. With wealth comes power.
The reason why I am stating the obvious is that this documentary will not surprise you whatsoever. You already know that there is a growing disconnect between the upper echelons of society and the middle class. Dirty Money gives you good reasons to watch and become irritatingly angered by blatant lawbreaking. The Netflix Original docu-series is split into six episodes, each with a different subject matter. Allow this review to break it down for you:
Episode 1 – “Hard Nox”
Ah, Volkswagen. Don’t you wonder why large corporations never think long term or at least think about the short term ramifications of manufacturing technology that can hurt millions of people? Recently, Apple’s admission regarding their iPhone batteries was a glowing example of pressure at the top to make exponential profits. The fat cats never feel afraid of the FBI until the s**t hits the fan.
In the case of the opening episode of Dirty Money, Volkswagen lied to consumers for years regarding their “green clean Diesel cars”. You may remember their shares dropping magnificently when this happened. “Hard Knox” is a strong opening episode. It starts with a flimsy beginning by showing Adolf Hitler admiring a Volkswagen. Fortunately, it swiftly changes its tact with compelling events that arose from the Volkswagen fuel emissions scandal. It really drives home the seriousness of their deceitful tactics. By blindfolding the consumers they have killed many American lives through pollution. This is the strongest episode in the batch.
Episode Grade – A
Episode 2 – “Pay Day”
Whenever I have to endure a payday loan advertisement, I cringe inside. The private loan companies always manage to dress it up with shiny slogans and an endorsing c-listed celebrity. In the case of Dirty Money episode 2, “Pay Day”, the case study was Scott Tucker. He is the owner of a payday loan business and fancies himself as a racing driver. He has been indicted by the USA for targeting unsuspecting and vulnerable Americans. The accusation is that his company provide small loans with undisclosed charges, inflated interest rates and incomprehensible rules.
“Pay Day” is the most peculiar episode. It does not play out a scandal and conveys the story from both sides. You witness interviews from the victims and then it slides in Scott’s take on his innocence. This is whilst you see his expensive cars get taken away. The fact that the episode shows two sides of the coin, makes it an intriguing episode. You have to figure out your own opinion.
Episode Grade – B
Episode 3 – “Drug Short”
Of course, Dirty Money has a pharmaceutical episode. Right now in the UK, the healthcare system is on its arse, whilst the USA are wondering how much the administration is going to screw them over with healthcare reforms. The documentary uses Valeant Pharmaceuticals as a case study into how some of these companies do not care whatsoever in the public interest. The company in question has such a low investment in research and development that it is criminal. The primary goal is all about acquisition.
“Drug Short” provides no illusions or defence to the boardroom investors in the pharmaceutical industry. Dirty Money gives the audience a hard-hitting account of the rise and fall of the empire which was Valeant.
Episode Grade – A
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