HotDocs ’23: Tax Me if You Can

Directed by Yannick Kergoat, Tax Me is an in-depth examination of the ways in which tax loopholes keep multi-nationals ultra-rich. At a time when global capital profits are reaching all-time highs, nations all around the world are claimgin poverty. As a result of tax havens, massive corporations continue to benefit while the 99% continue to fall by the wayside. 

Kergoat has done extensive research into the world of tax evasion and the results show onscreen. Backed by solid research, Kergoat investigates the incredibly murky and muddy world of tax shelters and their effects on the global economy. However, because of its complicated subject matter, Kergoat recognizes that the audience is going to require something more to keep their attention. When dealing with the intricacies of tax shelters, style becomes required here as much as substance. As such, Kergot fuels his exploration of financial impropriety with vibrant animation and a sense of humour that demands the viewers attention. (A film’s early conclusion is particularly hilarious.)

In some ways, this film feels like a distant cousin to Oscar-nominated The Big Short, another financial film that used distraction as a form of education. In both cases, complex equations are infused with a pop-sensibility that seems to make them more accessible. (Although, in Tax Me’s case, the entertainment value only lasts for so long before it becomes more tedious.)

What’s more, Kergoat’s film also has a beating heart of justice embedded within it. Rather than simply uncover the greed of the 1%, Tax Me also highlights the damaging effect that these shelters have on the rest of the population. For Kergoat, this isn’t merely an issue of corruption. Instead, it reveals the ways that greed hurts the average person as well.

Tax Me if You Can premiered at HotDocs ’23. For more information, click here.

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