Profit and Nothing But!

Directed by Raoul Peck

52 minutes / Color
Release: 2001
Copyright: 2001

Who said that the economy serves mankind? What is this world where one third of the population, in the rich countries, or more precisely the wealthiest two percent in these countries, control everything? A world where the economy is law, where this law of the strongest is imposed on the rest of humanity? Why do we accept this cynical and immoral state of being? What happened to Solidarity? And to the militants? These are the questions PROFIT AND NOTHING BUT! asks.

Capitalism has succeeded in convincing us that it is the only truth, the only morality we need. It has even convinced its opponents that their failure lies within the normal scheme of things.

Raoul Peck contrasts this heavily documented illumination of the capitalist system with the devastating reality in his native land, Haiti - "a country that doesn't exist, where intellectual discussion has become a luxury." Its GNP for the next thirty years is roughly equivalent to Bill Gates (current) fortune. The film's stark images of the lives of the damned on earth provide a striking backdrop for talk of 'triumphant capitalism.'

PROFIT AND NOTHING BUT! is a pertinent, and impertinent, exploration of the profit motive and its consequences on our day to day lives, our history, and our outlook for the future.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, raised and educated in Zaire (the Democratic Republic of Congo), New York, France and Germany, Raoul Peck is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker and documentarian. His work has screened at dozens of prominent film festivals worldwide, and has earned him numerous prizes and awards, including the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Human Rights Watch. Lumumba, Raoul Peck's most recent feature film - an eloquent study of the rise and fall of the legendary African leader - was an international critical and audience favorite.

"Superb! A complete and thought provoking analysis of the current global economic system… [PROFIT AND NOTHING BUT!] provides important insight into the realities of today's global economy, and does so in a manner that is simple in its explanation, yet far-reaching in its conclusions. Raoul Peck has produced an excellent work, which serves as a valuable tool for any and all who question the validity of capitalism as a satisfactory global economic system."—Economic Justice News

"A journey of discovery. To make these ideas, abstract and immaterial notions, like globalization, live cinematically, Raoul Peck has made a fine formal work. The editing works by association, alternating between images and text. Archive documents, extracts from films, music - all this engages us, provokes us, seizes us. A breath of fresh air!"—Le Monde

"Compelling! For anyone who wants movies to mean something."—New York Daily News

"A sophisticated film! Economically and politically provocative! Peck provides a new pedagogy for the teaching of economics. I highly recommend it to those who want to reach their students; to those who are sensitive to other cultures; to those who are concerned with the environment…. [PROFIT AND NOTHING BUT!] is for those who entertain the idea that there is a better way to live."—Union for Radical Political Economics Newsletter

"An elegant montage-cum-lecture applying Marxist economic theory to the forces of globalization."—J. Hoberman, Village Voice

"Full of alluring images... Mr. Peck remains a filmmaker with a fine eye for people and landscapes…"—New York Times

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Select Accolades

  • 2002 African Literature Association Film Festival
  • 2002 Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • 2001 Amsterdam International Documentary Festival
  • 2001 Margaret Mead Film Festival
  • 2001 Nyon Film Festival
  • 2001 INPUT (South Africa)


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