Being in debt has become a normal condition in financialised capitalist economies. Student loans, mortgages, credit cards, consumer loans or pay day loans are common. The normalisation and prevalence of debt has produced what noted Italian Marxist theorist Maurizio Lazzarato terms as “indebted man”.
In Western economies, a market exists for debt and is managed by banks or other regulated lending institutions. In developing countries, in addition to the banks; local lenders, including employers or their intermediaries, not only serve the demand for debt, but use the debt to create relations of dependence, producing not simply indebted people, but debt bonded labourers – a form of modern day slaves. The film recounts the life and conditions of two workers in Indian brick kilns who are bonded to the debt owed to their employers, local lenders and to grocers, and in doing so demonstrates the disciplinary effects of debt.
Conceptualized by Craig Prichard, Ozan NadirAlakavuklar & Omer Nazir