by Simeon Roberts
Anyone who has seen Queue Politely’s “97% Owned” will know that this is an intelligent and powerful film about the monetary system and unlike many others is presented from a British perspective. I think I watched the film two or three times with my notepad, excitedly taking down notes for further research as if I was preparing for a school exam. 97% Owned is one of the best independent British documentaries that I have seen in recent years, along with the unique visual style and the intelligent way in which the information is made digestible, this film is worth adding to your collection.
I was fortunate enough to be granted an interview with the two primary filmmakers Michael Oswald who directed the film and Mike Horwath the films producer, who collectively make up Queue Politely. I met them in a local café and we discuss the wonders of filmmaking, finance, literature and even a little Philosophy!
How did queuepolitely originate?
MH: At the time we were living together and Michael was doing a film course. At the same time I was listening to a lot of radio shows such as “Coast-to-Coast” AM and listening to a lot of things in the conspiracy theory world. I was really interested in different stories and finding out what was underneath them. I find that people tend to listen to one story presented by the media, and then that proliferates and then these stories become truths but actually they’re not, and much of what is presented may be false or manipulated. The Internet is another place, these stories are found on the Internet for example and become a reality without anything backing it up. So Michael had been making films commercially and we have been friends for a long time so we decided to make a film of our own and that was the origins of Queuepolitely.
Why the name Queuepolitely?
MH: It symbolises everyone standing outside the bank, queueing politely. I think there is a Britishness to it.
How long did the research for the film take?
MO: Probably around 8 months, the research actually took a lot longer than it should have and I think one of the mistakes we made was not writing a script which meant we ended up with a lot of information and once it came to the editing we were like “well how do we put this all together?” I think when you start making documentaries you are looking for good ideas, fresh ideas that nobody else has talked about in this format and once you have those ideas you suddenly realise “okay, now I’ve got to make this into a film!” So that really is one of the lessons we have learned whilst making a film of the complexity of 97% owned – that we need to write a script!
What has the reception been like to “97% Owned” being the first film to look at the monetary system from a British perspective?