We all got the question more than once in our lifetime: What would you do if you would have all the money in the world? Buying a new house? New car? Or maybe even go for some plastic surgery? Well, the people we got to know in Generation Wealth, the new Lauren Greenfield documentary, would do all of that and so much more. With her latest work, Greenfield takes us into the world of money, luxury and decadence.
For over more than 30 years, she followed different people with all diverse backgrounds from all over the world. A middle aged man, who left his wife for a much younger girlfriend, some musicians who lived the rock and roll lifestyle and a woman whose career means more to her than family. These are some of the people that allowed Greenfield to capture their lives. At first sight, they might have nothing in common. It’s only when you take a closer look you will see that there’s one thing that connects them. Money. A lot of money. One of them describes having money as ‘there’s no such thing as having too much money’ and we can clearly tell that from the documentary. Extravaganza parties, making it rain money, drugs and hookers. Nothing is impossible! At the beginning, it seems that everything is achievable when you have money. For youngsters, middle-aged people or the older generation. However, as amazing as their lives seems, a lot of sacrifices have to be made. What about family? Children? The reactions and most importantly the expectations from society? A lot of anxiety, stress and insecurity are being hidden behind all the dollars bills. Thanks to Greenfield, we get to see that despite the fact how much money you have, you can’t buy happiness or the perfect life.
Greenfield started as a photographer and alongside that, she created a film about the subjects she made photos from. Rich people with all the money in the world and a fascinating story to tell. We also see the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kate Hudson and even Donald Trump. Generation Wealth is a combination of those pictures, interviews, and footage, especially shot for this movie. All provided with commentary from the director herself. Because of the multiple and diverse recordings, the movie never becomes boring or dull. You get to know the people from start to finish, a connection between them and you is created and because of that, you just want to know how their lives are being influenced by money over a long period of time.
It’s not only about the lives of the rich and famous but Greenfield also films her own life and the ones from her family. With that, she shows that, despite the fact we might not have the same amount of money, we’re not so different than each other. It becomes an emotional, eye-opening work that will put you with your two feet back on the ground while realizing that money isn’t the most important thing in the world.
With Generation Wealth, Greenfield delivers a wonderful documentary about greed, wealth, money, decadence but also about the importance of family, shattered dreams and the pressure of society. The stories behind the pictures and videos are captivating and want to make you stay until the end of the movie. So go and watch it!
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter