'Generation Wealth' Trailer: A Horrifying And Fascinating Examination Of A Society Too Rich For Its Own Good

Here it is: the trailer for what looks to be the most frightening movie of 2019. Generation Wealth finds acclaimed photographer and documentarian Lauren Greenfield returning to one of her favorite subjects: wealthy people and the strange bubbles they live within. However, this is no fluffy puff piece. As the footage below showcases, Greenfield's film suggests some real "fall of the Roman empire" stuff – can a society like this survive or is this just another sign that we're all doomed?

Generation Wealth Trailer

Our own Ben Pearson caught Generation Wealth at the Sundance Film Festival last year and was impressed by the film and horrified by its subjects:

Greenfield's personal journey is the beating heart of this movie, but it's the over-the-top characters she interviews that will leave your jaw on the floor. Much of the film is comprised of conversations with former subjects she photographed decades earlier, from an exiled former hedge fund manager who doesn't seem to regret defrauding his clients out of $200 million to the "queen of Las Vegas," a middle-aged VIP hostess who regularly brings her 21-year-old son out to party with her. There are jaunts to China, where someone has built a full-scale replica of the White House with their own Mount Rushmore providing the view out of their version of the Oval Office. There's a woman who charges tens of thousands of dollars to teach etiquette lessons to rich, young foreign women whose parents never taught them how to look sexy for Instagram.

Here's the official synopsis for the film, which provides some helpful background:

For the past 25 years acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles, Thin, kids+money, #likeagirl) has travelled the world, documenting with ethnographic precision and an artist's sensitivity a vast range of cultural movements and moments. Yet, after so much seeking and searching, she realized that much of her work pointed at one uniting phenomenon: wealth culture. With her new film, Generation Wealth, she puts the pieces of her life's work together for in an incendiary investigation into the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen. Spanning consumerism, beauty, gender, body commodification, aging and more, Greenfield has created a comprehensive cautionary tale about a culture heading straight for the cliff's edge. Simultaneously autobiographical and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream, and the personal costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism, and greed.

Generation Wealth will begin streaming on Amazon Prime on February 1, 2019.