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Free Money

Free Money

77' 2022
dir.: Lauren DeFilippo, Sam Soko

Does money bring happiness? Residents of an African village receive an offer from an American philanthropist – a guaranteed income to all for 12 years.

Universal basic income is an idea that moves the imagination. Who wouldn't want to collect the eponymous easy money every month? A pioneering economic and social experiment is taking place in the Kenyan village of Kogutu: the philanthropic start-up GiveDirectly promise to pay a fixed salary to all residents for 12 years. The villagers' fears disappear when the money first shows up in their accounts. For six years, the filmmakers observe the changes that took place in village life. Will the project help residents get back on their feet or will it paralyze them? Will it resolve or amplify local conflicts? How will it affect the traditional division of gender roles? And how to carry out such experiments in an ethical way?

Konrad Wirkowski


2022 TIFF
2022 IDFA

Tickets and passes
77' 2022 Kenia, USA
Lauren DeFilippo, Sam Soko
Jackson Kang'ethe, Wambui Muigai
Mila Aung-Thwin, Ryan Mullins
New Slate Ventures, Insignia Films