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  • Keijah Pa‘e

Generation Wealth: a movie review

How do you define wealth? In the film, “Generation Wealth”, director Lauren Greenfield started her journey to understand society's obsession with wealth. She followed the lives of multiple people and their addiction to consumerism. This film was released in 2018 and can be found on Prime Video. 

Lauren Greenfield grew up similarly to many of us, feeling out of place, wanting the nicest clothes, and seeking a certain perception from others. She had everything she needed but yearned for more; this made her want to explore why she didn't feel like what she had was enough. Thus, she started her long educational journey to study people's obsession with wealth. 

One of the more grounded people she interviewed was G-Mo, an ex-rapper from the 90s. He grew up with hard-working parents and was in the middle class. His first glimpse of money was in the 7th grade, and he realized how he wanted to live; rapping was his way to fame. G-Mo’s version of the classical “American Dream” was the quest for fame and fortune.  It wasn’t until his last interview with Lauren that he realized his desire for fame was ridiculous. Although he didn't succeed in his dreams to become a millionaire, his ambitions changed along the way. He became a loving husband, father, and a humble provider. Before his interview ended, he defines “success” as showing his children work ethic, the importance of education, and the importance of your character

She even dove into the world of plastic surgery. Lauren follows Cathy, a single mom who tells the tale of her trying to satisfy her insecurities. Cathy believed that changing her body would allow her to love herself and teach her daughter to love herself. She was obsessed over her looks and she mourned over her pre-pregnancy body. She discarded life long goals, such as owning a home and financial stability, to be able to afford the best body she could. At the time, she was a school bus driver and didn't have the funds to pay for the surgery. To this day, she's still working towards paying off her debt. Her wealth was her youth, which ultimately ruined her life. 

Something that stood out to me was the misery most of these people faced even after obtaining what they yearned for. You see these people who obsessed over the biggest house, perfect body, and so much more, but they never seemed to enjoy their life. Watching this film has altered the way I look at wealth and made me reconsider what I find valuable. I was overwhelmed with guilt for how I previously perceived value in physical items and even in others. Now I realize the importance of finding the worth of everyday life and what things I have once taken for granted.  This documentary allows you to question what you have done to gain wealth. It was a truly eye-opening and well written film, and I highly recommend giving it a watch. 

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