Lawrence Elman, India Woods
Water, food, fuel, minerals and housing – all essential commodities, all too expensive and all sources of conflict. Climate change is ushering in a new era of scarcity, and financial speculators in New York and London are profiting from it by pushing up the prices of the essential commodities we need to survive.
As people struggle to afford basic necessities, riots and revolutions have broken out all over the world from the Arab Spring to Venezuela. These wars have unleashed civil wars, ISIS, and the greatest refugee crisis in history, which has, in turn, rocked the very foundations of Western democracies. Profit & Loss reveals the players behind the world’s commodity markets, and how they’ve become engines of chaos.
The film interweaves two narratives; the first, is the story of profit. Like Inside Job and The Big Short, Profit & Loss breaks down complex finance into layman’s language. Interviews with commodity analysts and traders take audiences through the inner-workings of the commodity markets and show how the latest trading strategies have turned them into engines of chaos.
The second, is the story of loss. The crew embedded with gangs of street kids in Venezuela, cattle raiders in Kenya, the UN de-mining team in Iraq, and the Ugandan military in Somalia. In each of these places, a single character describes how their lives have been destroyed by chaos. Revealing in stark personal and emotional terms the true price of chaotic markets.