CAPITALISM: With a world at the crossroads, is the annual economic forum of elites a destination of tangible change or another chance to push a «global agenda»?
Carmen Gray
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: October 29, 2019

Suited participants chat and cast furtive looks around for the most advantageous person to approach, all while one man stands awkwardly amongst the informal throng, looking less than thrilled to be there. It could be any corporate networking happy hour — except this standoffish figure is Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro, and the venue is the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss resort town of Davos, an annual, invitation-only meeting accessible to only the most influential of global leaders and business elites. Bolsonaro is cornered, separately, by Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan and US Vice President and environmentalist Al Gore, who each express concern for the Amazon. Distrust bristles, barely veiled, under civil exchanges. Gore makes a faux pas by name-dropping a former military enemy of Bolsonaro’s as a mutual acquaintance; the subtext is unmissable when Bolsonaro, who regards conservation efforts as a threat to sovereignty, states he values the rainforest as a «resource». «We are not enemies, we just need to talk,» Bolsonaro tells Gore. «I am always eager to talk,» he replies. Words have scarcely felt so futile and hollow.

Fascinatingly enigmatic

It is an eye-opening peek inside the WEF, which, in its fifty-year history has not allowed any independent film teams access behind the scenes — until this documentary from German director Marcus Vetter.

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