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Film Review: ‘Generation Wealth’ Tells Us What We Already Know

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CHICAGO – When it comes to really being rich, what do we already know? Money doesn’t buy happiness. Family and friendship connections are more important than accumulation. Yet those simple lessons keep being broken up by the excess of more, the values of which are in the documentary “Generation Wealth.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Directed by photographer/filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, “Generation Wealth” is a hodge podge of different stories that eventually add up to those truths that we all know. However, the journey to get there takes different paths, and often those paths are paved with gold. Attitudinally, we all currently live in a society that values the benefits of wealth over anything else (if we’re being honest with ourselves). And basically, the profiles in the film are about those values… the ones that elected a a “rich” (yet fundamentally sociopathic) man as president, the ones that have two billionaires running for a state governor’s office that becomes only an excuse to own something else, and the ones that have people waiting in line to buy a thousand dollar phone (trading in one that works perfectly fine) while in another part of the city 50 people are shot in one weekend. Yeah, the film will make you think about all this.

Lauren Greenfield has spent over 25 years as a successful photographer, cultural essayist and filmmaker. What she began to realize is that the major theme of all her work was the lifestyles of the wealthy in America and internationally. To make the film (along with the book companion and gallery display) she begins to examine the victims in the pursuit of wealth, and even herself as their photographer.

Profiled in the film is Cathy, who obsessed on plastic surgery; Florian (and his son Conrad), a hedge fund manager who eventually defrauded his clients; Kacey, a porn star who tasted the good life with Charlie Sheen; Valbjörn, an Icelandic fisherman turned banker turned fisherman; three now-grown high schoolers that were the subject of Greenfield’s first look at Los Angeles excess; and Suzanne, a driven hedge fund exec who finally had time for a baby at 40, but found she couldn’t get pregnant. All came to some conclusions, but do they all stick?

“Generation Wealth” is currently in limited nationwide release, including Chicago. See local listings for theaters and showtimes. Written and directed by Lauren Greenfield. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Generation Wealth”

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Mother and Child Reunion on Display in ‘Generation Wealth’
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Generation Wealth”

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