68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2
The shattering of what’s left of the American Dream: Generation Wealth, Game Girls, Lemonade
16 March 2018
This is the second of a series of articles on the recent Berlin international film festival, the Berlinale, held February 15-25, 2018. The first part was posted March 14.
Three films at this year’s festival shed a piercing light on social relations in the United States. Each of the films has its weaknesses, but taken together they provide insight into the extraordinary levels of social inequality prevailing in America.
Filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield has concentrated in her work on portraying the excesses of America’s wealthy elite. In a previous work, The Queen of Versailles (2012), Greenfield featured a Florida billionaire and his wife who set out to build a 90,000-square-foot home inspired by Louis XIV’s palace in Versailles.
Opening shots in her latest film, Generation Wealth, indicate that the lust for wealth on the part of the super-rich has by no means abated.
We are introduced, for example, to luxury car rental tycoon “Limo Bob,” who grotesquely sports furs and chains. Bob’s principal claim to fame is having two entries in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest car in the world—a stretch limo with its own swimming pool and helicopter landing pad!
Greenfield notes that the drive to accumulate and spend obscene amounts of money is not restricted to the US. We are introduced in turn to billionaire lifestyles in Moscow, Monaco, Dubai and China. In the last country, one Chinese mogul, apparently addicted to the US, has built a replica of the White House, plus a reproduction of Mount Rushmore with the sculpted heads…