Thursday, December 20, 2012

It was a wonderful film

Christmas officially started for me last night with a free showing of 'It's a Wonderful Life' at St Catherine's Church, SE14. There was a good crowd who cheered appreciatively at the end after an evening of dabbing their eyes in the dark. I'd forgotten how topical Frank Capra's 1946 film is, it's all about banking, debt, and housing, as well as angels obviously. Mean old Potter, the ruthless businessman, is determined to put Bailey's uneconomic building society out of business because in lending money for houses to people not deemed credit-worthy it is not only undermining Potter's rental incomce as a landlord, but  creating a 'discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty, working class'.

This recalls some of the discussions going on around 'moral hazard' and the Occupy movement's Rolling Jubilee campaign in the States (which Goldsmiths' David Graeber is involved in), where the campaign to relieve debts and prevent foreclosures is coming up against the bankers' notion that is wrong to allow people to stay in homes when they can't pay their mortgage because it undermines the threat to others.

Anyway the Church was nicely lit with a Christmas tree and candles.

The film show was also a curtain raiser for next years' New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival, which will take place from 26 April to 5 May 2013. Watch out for details of planning meetings early in the New Year.


Andrew Simpson said...

And I think it highlights that level of co-operation which is the hall mark of a civilized society. They would have us believe that people are selfish which the film neatly rubbishes and makes me think of all those big and not so big industrial struggles where families put the common good above short term greed. As a member of the Co-op and the Co-op Party I remain proud of the long tradition of co-operation, and can even boast of my time with the R A C S in Woolwich.
Time to get down our DVD copy and slot it in to the Christmas schedule.

Transpontine said...

Yes the film also made me think of how building societies were originally created as a form of mutual aid, alongside unions, co-ops etc., but ultimately have become absorbed into banks.