The Laundromat (2019)

Spent the afternoon watching the movie “The Laundromat”.

This film explores the mystery of money and how the super rich can hide it in safe tax havens under shell companies.

One decription of this film says it follows Ellen Martin, played by Meryl Streep, whose dream vacation takes a wrong turn when her husband is killed. Her insurance claim leads her down a rabbit hole of shady dealings that can all be traced to one Panama City law firm, run by financially seductive partners Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca.

In fact the film opens with Mossack and Fonseca, played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, as they justify their actions for setting up shell companies and hiding transactions under a veil of secrecy. Their characters are narrators throughtout the film, highlighting what is wrong with the system.

The real-life Mossack and Fonseca pair tried to stop netflix releasing the movie. In response Netflix said “Steven Soderbergh’s film tells an important story about the exploitation of innocent people and the misuse of the world’s financial system.”

The end credits note that the film is based on the book Secrecy World by Jake Bernstein. This book is, itself, based on the Mossack Fonseca scandal. 

The film is currently available on Netflix

Secrecy World by Jake Bernstein is available on Amazon

There is also a new edition of the book entitled The Laundromat, noting it was the inspiration for Steven Soderbergh’s film, Starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas


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