August 10, 2011

Default: The Student Loan Documentary

In the film “Network” the protagonist, Howard Beale’s makes a to arms: “First you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a human being goddammit-- my life has value!’ I want you to get up now, I want all of you to get up out of your chairs, go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!’”

If you’re like me, you’re a twenty something who has gone to college in the USA, and are currently trying to pay thousands of dollars of student loans, have been in forbearance on multiple occasions, and have paid in interest the value of some of your loans multiple times over. You probably have floating around in your subconscious an unfocused notion that you and everybody you graduated with, everyone you work with, is getting swindled.

Default: The Student Loan Documentary draws on the stories of individuals like you, expert testimony, and simply runs the raw numbers to bring that unfocused notion into crystal clarity.

This film takes the elephant in the room that has been invisible right in front of our faces, and highlights it with neon orange spraypaint. YES you are getting swindled! YES our higher educational system is broken. YES the USA is becoming a debtors prison. YES it really was easier to get a college degree and a good paying job when your parents were your age. What’s more YES there is something you can do about it!

Just as Howard Beal’s call to arms rallied a nation, Default: The Student Loan Documentary has the potential to be a flashpoint for an entire generation to organize around. It is my hope that this film it will spawn a generation-wide economic justice movement.

Check the trailer: