(This is no longer available online at googlevideo, but you can see the whole thing at Veoh if you're willing to use their player. I'm not.)
I've been hearing about this expose but hadn't seen it yet. I am a regular listener to Dave Ramsey, and there are several clips of him in the film. Maxed Out takes about 90 minutes to showcase the effects of the predatory lending practices of credit card companies. It's tragic. And I'm more convinced every day that our representatives in D.C. are owned lock, stock and barrel by the corporations.
Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders (2006) is an independent feature-length documentary film and book that chronicles abusive practices in the credit card industry. Written and directed by James Scurlock, the film and book use interviews with creditors, debtors, academics, and others to illustrate its story. The film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, USA, in 2006 where it claimed the Special Jury Prize. It went on to several film fests including Seattle, Full Frame Documentary, Maui, New Zealand, Milwaukee International, Woodstock, Bergen, Leeds International, Oxford and IDFA (Amsterdam) film festivals. It was released in movie theaters in select cities in the United States in March 2007 through Magnolia Pictures. The DVD was released nationally in June 7, 2007 in the joint effort Magnolia Pictures and Red Envelope Entertainment (a division of Netflix). The book Maxed Out is printed by Scribner, a division of Simon and Schuster.
Scurlock's purpose for the film and book was to raise awareness of how credit and lending issues are affecting society. The main premises of the documentary and book are that banks and other creditors deliberately market to people who are more likely to have problems paying and that the creditors benefit from connections to government, the debt collection industry, and from lawmaker apathy.
The non-profit organization Americans for Fairness in Lending (AFFIL) has organized screenings of Maxed Out around the country as part of its work. AFFIL sustains a formal collaboration with the film.
3/5/2008: My Money Blog has a review.
10/29/2008: The Dancing Image has a review.