You don’t usually associate comedy and tax evasion – but this new movie from the director of the trio of Ocean’s 11 movies and Netflix manages it.
The Panama Papers were leaked by an anonymous source in 2015 – the leak included 11.5 million documents about tax shelters, off shore accounts, and people in high places dating back to the 1970s. The fall out was substantial. Multiple countries were involved, and some rather big name organizations – like FIFA. They all came from one law firm in Panama – Mossack Fonseca. This is the quasi true story of the founders’ downfall.
The film follows Ellen Martin, whose dream vacation takes a wrong turn and leads her down a rabbit hole of shady dealings that can all be traced to one Panama City law firm, run by seductive partners Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca. She soon learns that her minor predicament is only a drop in the bucket of millions of files linking an off-shore tax scheme to the world’s richest and most powerful political leaders.
This project is based on a script from Scott Z. Burns (The Informant) and stars Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Jeffrey Wright, Matthias Schoenaerts, James Cromwell and Sharon Stone. Let’s hope the Soderbergh/Netflix partnership can produce another good movie (the incredibly smart High Flying Bird is streaming now; it was shot entirely on an iPhone 8).