Giving the heart a hand

18.Reginald outside his home_preview
Reginald outside his home // Supplied

A good documentary enthralls and informs you, even if you went into it without any clue of what it was about.

“We have heard a lot about the invisible hand of markets, let us bring the invisible heart of markets to help those whom the invisible hand has left behind.” This statement by Sir Ronald Cohen is referencing a three-century-old quote from economist Adam Smith. Smith’s invisible hand and Cohen’s invisible heart is postulating whether or not social fairness and capitalism can coexist. This coexistence is embodied in The Invisible Heart by something called a ‘social impact bond’.  

What the heck is that? Well, according to Wikipedia it is “ a ‘pay for success’ bond or simply a ‘social bond’, it is a contract with the public sector in which a commitment is made to pay for improved social outcomes that result in public sector savings.”

23.Sir Ronald Cohen at Brookings Institution_preview
Sir Ronald Cohen at Brookings Institution. // Supplied

These bonds are worth millions of dollars. They affect schools. They affect housing of the ‘at risk’ community. They are in the trenches of the war between money and the good of humanity.

Fundamentally, what the doc does is try to explain the positive humanistic affect that these bonds have on those “the invisible hand has left behind”.

From the people behind the bonds to those they directly affect, and to those employing them, the strength of Invisible Heart lies within its cast of characters. From a struggling alcoholic drug user trying to keep himself off the street, to a Chicago family who has been touched by violence and doing their best to persevere, the faces of real people are what makes Heart so potent.

One thing that stands out about Invisible Heart, is that it is a story about ideas. People with ideas. Their opinions on those ideas. Their strength of conviction on the ideas put in front of them. It is a treatise on cause and effect. While dollars and cents are about commodities, Invisible Heart is about humanizing money by stitching together the boardroom and the living room using the fabric of society.

I’ll be frank, this doc (directed by Nadine Pequeneza) is thick. Pay attention kids, because even though there isn’t going to be a quiz at the end, you will better serve your global community by understanding the concepts thrown around in this film.

5/5 Stars

The Invisible Heart will be screened on May 9 at 7PM at Metro Cinema as part of NorthwestFest. To purchase tickets visit HERE. If you like this story, why don’t you buy me a coffee? 


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