The result of 25 years of work, Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth deconstructs capitalism and how it has damaged our society. Through the search for money, social status, beauty and opulence, we have lost ourselves. This is the wake-up call of a generation.
It took 30 months to edit Generation Wealth, which is understandable considering it complies 25 years of photographer and documentarist Lauren Greenfield’s work. It all started in the 90’s, where she observed the teenagers living in LA. Some were born wealthy; some were included to the popular kids thanks to their parents’ status or their good looks.
The eighties marked the shift in society: everything became about money – how to get it, how to get more of it and how to spend it in outrageous ways. Thanks to the TV, we stopped wanting what the neighbours had and started desiring what people on TV had. We’ve seen the rise of the Kardashians, who now seem more familiar to us than our real-life neighbours.
After the 2008 financial crash, people started to realise that money doesn’t mean much and that what matters is your family, your roots. But is that shift a permanent one? Nothing is less certain and the election of Trump as president of the United States is an alarming sign that we may not have learned our lesson yet.
History Always Repeat Itself…
Reflecting on her subjects but also on herself, Lauren Greenfield depicts the functioning of our western world and highlights what is wrong with it. From wanting to be beautiful at all costs, to lowering yourself in a quest of flickering fame, humans have become toys at the hands of capitalism and we are literally ready to sell ourselves to escape our reality.
Generation Wealth is alarming and shows that nothing is truly evolving, as we seem unable to learn from our mistakes. Its message is definitely hopeful though: find what matters, seek your true self and do you without letting society pressure you.
Thought-provoking, Generation Wealth is an important first step towards redemption.
Previously published on www.film-news.co.uk on the 3rd of June 2018.