Generation Wealth

Documentary Generation Wealth


As a visual artist and filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles, Festival 2012) has obsessively documented the ultra-wealthy and the gulf between their extravagant lives and their fundamental dissatisfaction as human beings for over 25 years. Timely and provocative, Generation Wealth uses her incredible footage to ask difficult questions about where our society is heading, singling out our current President as a poster boy for these issues.

“Greenfield’s voiceover and on-screen appearances come across as a search for meaning in all this—there’s real intelligence in a documentary that is a relentless critique of capitalism, but cleverly so, using the pop culture tools of advertising against itself—jolly music, an inappropriate light tone, and the slew of sexual imagery. Her photography itself is brilliant, similarly borrowing from advertising techniques to disturb. This feels like a generational statement, a mea culpa from Greenfield’s contemporaries about making the world so awful for the next generation.” – Charlie Phillips, The Guardian 

 “Through her dedication to other people's lives, and with such open-book storytelling of her own, Greenfield is able to make a stunningly deeply resonant documentary about notions as seemingly obvious as the value of love over wealth itself.” – Nick Allen,  

Filmmaker Bio(s)


A photographer as well as a filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield made her documentary feature debut with Thin (2006), the winner of the Grierson Award at the London Film Festival. She subsequently made Kids + Money (2008) and The Queen of Versailles (Festival 2012), for which she won the documentary directing award at the Sundance Film Festival. She explains her focus on wealth and consumerism: “My parents didn’t buy into the materialistic values of LA, but as a teenager wanting to fit in, I still wanted designer jeans, and to have a car at sixteen like my friends did. My work comes from that contradiction: even growing up with parents who did not participate in conspicuous consumption, I was interested in symbols of wealth and glamour. As a photographer, even in the most extreme places, I feel a mix of empathy and ability to relate. The work is about the aspiration for wealth and luxury, and the striving to be ‘other’ than you are.” (Aperture)

Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2018
  • Running time: 107
  • Director(s): Lauren Greenfield
  • Producer(s): Frank Evers, Lauren Greenfield, Wallis Annenberg
  • Cinematographer(s): Robert Chappell, Lauren Greenfield, Shana Hagan, Jerry Risius, Lars Skree
  • Editor(s): Aaron Wickenden, Michelle Witten, Victor Livingston, Dan Marks
  • Music: Jeff Beal

Print Source:

Magnolia Pictures