"In an atmosphere of great panic, a powerful few, with much to lose, used the system of American government to save themselves."
-- Michael Collender, writer/director of RED SEPTEMBER
In some dramatic moments in history film captures the mood of the people, giving them insight into their world. In 1940, the film Grapes of Wrath, adapted from Steinbeck's novel, captured the mood of America during the Great Depression. RED SEPTEMBER follows in this tradition.
In September 2008, the unified forces of the Bush Administration, Wall Street, and leadership on both sides of the aisle rammed the Wall Street Bailout through Congress. In the years that followed, the United States launched the largest intervention and stimulus programs in her history, engorging Wall Street, while doing nothing to correct the problems that led to the crisis. The American people understand that something is wrong, and that they are being cheated. Yet, the Main Stream Media continually repeats the false narrative that the Bailout was necessary, and that it rescued the economy. The reality is that this intervention in the economy made America's financial situation more perilous. Americans can see that their politicians lie to them, that the votes of Congress can be bought by shrewd special interests, and that American government no longer represents it's people. While the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement disagree on many things, they are both angered by this reality. The events of the last few years incontrovertibly prove this, and strong public awareness of this reality started with the Bailout.
But the story the public does not know is how principled Congressmen fought the Bailout for the good of the nation. Based on over two years of research and screenplay development, RED SEPTMEBER is an inspiring "based on true events" story, pitting courage and honor against fear and greed.
Congressmen, staff members, and other eyewitnesses to the events of September 2008, told us in off-the-record interviews that at no point in DC's recent memory has so much pressure been placed on Congress to pass any piece of legislation. In an atmosphere of great panic, a powerful few, with much to lose, used the system of American government to save themselves.
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON dramatizes fictional pressures on Jefferson Smith to support graft for a corrupt businessman. The real drama of the 2008 Bailout displays similar pressures but on an epic scale. Those who supported the Bailout had much to gain from powerful and moneyed interests. Those who fought it risked great loss and a number of them were politically "punished" afterwards.
Many voices in media have championed the Bailout and its alleged success. These claims are simply not true to economic reality or common sense. The Bailout, along with other extraordinary government measures, prevented the ruin of some financial firms at the expense of the American citizen. Inflating commodity and food prices at home and around the world, America's stagnant real estate market, the European bank crisis, the massive increase of unregulated derivatives over the last four years, and the inability for American small businesses to make long term financial forecasts even four years after this intervention are only a few of the many bad outcomes from this violent intrusion into the American economy.
Many who fought this bill knew what was at stake. As one congressman told us, "Without the Bailout, there would have been no Stimulus, no takeover of Chrysler or GM, the extent of the nationalizing of Fannie and Freddie, etc. This was absolutely a pivotal time that laid the foundation for all of this." Presently, the entire American economy is on a kind of morbid life support. America is like a person who has run out of food and instead of working to find more is now eating herself.
Consistently, in off-the-record interviews, we learned the fight against this bill was the most bipartisan cause that Congressmen could remember. Principled liberals and conservatives joined to fight a bill that stood against America's historic mores and values. RED SEPTEMBER tells the story of this great bipartisan fight for our country. To make the story easier to follow, and also to be fair to those in Congress involved in this fight, the film follows a "fictional" congressman, who represents several Congresspersons who played decisive roles in this struggle. As such, this Congressman represents an ideal of character and leadership, backed up by the factual character and leadership of Democrats and Republicans, men and women, who loved our country more than position or power. Ultimately, RED SEPTEMBER is not about the Bailout. It's about character.
RED SEPTEMBER also presents events through the eyes of the generation that will be hurt most by these government policies. Much of the financial crisis is explained through a relationship between two college interns in Treasury and the moral conflicts they face as they start to uncover how Treasury's proposed solutions are a greater danger to the world and their generation than the financial crisis itself.
RED SEPTEMBER should appeal to the 70% of Americans who in the years since it's passing have consistently remained strongly against the Bailout. If controversy about the movie develops, many of those not against the Bailout may also want to see the movie.