TJN Admin ■ The Spider’s Web film wins ARFF Global Award


We’re delighted that Michael Oswald’s documentary film The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire has won the monthly Global Award from the Berlin Around International Film Festival (ARFF).

The Spider’s Web, which was co-produced by TJN’s John Christensen, draws inspiration from Nicholas Shaxson’s best-selling book Treasure Islands and from P.J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins British Imperialism. The film tells the story of how, after the British were forced to withdraw from former colonies in the 1950s and 1960s, the City of London adapted from its role as the ‘beating heart’ of the formal British Empire by creating a new ‘offshore’ market for financial transactions – the Eurodollar market – and attracting hot money flows from around the world via a web of secrecy jurisdictions in tiny dependent territories. As Cain and Hopkins explain it:

By the early 1970s City gentlemen could no longer rely on either the empire or the Sterling area to provide them with a world role.  Yet the City survived as a global financial centre.  As the good ship sterling sank, the City was able to scramble aboard a much more seaworthy young vessel, the Eurodollar.”

Drawing extensively on archive film and new interview footage, The Spider’s Web explains how the City emerged as the largest player in the global offshore financial economy.

The ARFF Global Award is given to any film (short, feature, experimental, documentary, animation, etc) which explores an issue of global interest using a unique approach to tell the story.

Follow this link if you are interested in organising a screening in your locality. The film is currently being translated into several languages for subtitles in German, Italian, Spanish and French.

You can read more about The Spider’s Web in this wide-ranging interview with Michael Oswald and John Christensen.

Watch the trailer here:

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