Justin Pemberton • New Zealand • 2020
The entire fabric of contemporary society is underpinned by the phenomenon of capital. Wealth equals power, and power determines social relations. Or so Thomas Piketty would have you think. The rock-star French economist’s scathing history of modern capital begins in the 1700s–when the average life expectancy in Europe was just 17 years–before swooping through tectonic shifts from the Industrial Revolution to Thatcher and Reagan-era privatization. Throughout the centuries, as today, the greatest obstacle to a more equal society is not technical, but ideological.
Featuring interviews with world-renowned economists such as Piketty, Kate Williams, and Suresh Naidu, Capital in the 21st Century presents a fascinating journey through social and economic systems from the early 1700s to today. Justin Pemberton’s seventh documentary premiered at CPH:DOX, Sydney, Jerusalem, and Rio de Janeiro.