Princes of the Yen (2014)
Central Banks are some of the most secretive and misunderstood institutions in the world. What powers do they wield? Whose interests do they serve? How do their actions affect our everyday lives? In 2003, Richard Werner released a book by the title of “Princes of the Yen”, which cut through the complex jargon of central bankers and for the first time made this obscure world accessible to the public. The book became a number one bestseller in Japan. Yet, over ten years after it was first released, the English version, is still on its first edition! Told within the context of the history of 20th Century Japan, Richard Werner meticulously solves the puzzle of central banks, and explains the social, political and economic impacts their actions have. The documentary provides the viewer with a new understanding of economics and shows how events that may appear disjointed in popular discourse are in reality intimately intertwined. “Princes of the Yen” is an independent, self-funded documentary. It was made as a sequel to 97% Owned, a film about how money is created and the impact its creation has. We realized after making that film that we did not understand how central banks fitted into the picture. “Princes of the Yen” fills that gap, shining a light on a world hidden behind closed doors and obscured by complex jargon, a world which would much rather stay out of sight. And when all the layers are peeled away, what remains, is the understanding of the role central banks play, in inducing and directing change. Change, for which they have no mandate.