“I had everything I needed, but still wanted more” says writer/director Lauren Greenfield, while recalling the start of her childhood in her newest documentary, Generation Wealth (2018), which is her newest project that sets out to document and examine the various pathologies that has created our current money hungry society.
In the film, Lauren interviews various different individuals who have something to share about their experience with wealth. While speaking to a mother and daughter who participate in beauty pageants, a little girl who can’t be more than six exclaims how much she “loves money” and attributes wealth to why she participates in beauty pageants.
This is just one of many poignant scenes in the documentary that are heartbreakingly accurate at how we view money, and more specifically power as a commodity. Throughout the runtime we are introduced to many who have either been filthy rich or dirt poor, and it’s interesting to see how conflicting their viewpoints become.
During the first portion of the film, Lauren begins by showing us her own experience with wealth: and how her various photo-journalistic trips over the years have made her view things differently. She talks with her parents, who are both Harvard graduates, and discusses with them how they always gave her everything she needed when she was a child, but how she still craved more.
But, unfortunately after the first act the documentary begins to become extremely uneven. It presents a handful of ideas, and never takes the time to flesh out any of them, or to even correctly correlate them to the original focus of the story. The narrative is constantly thrown around without any specific focus.
Overall, Generation Wealth (2018) is an interesting documentary, though a troubled one, with a extremely uneven narrative.
Final Score: 6 out of 10.
Generation Wealth • Run time 1:46 • Rated R - for strong sexual content, nudity, disturbing images, and drug material