Work hard and pay your taxes—it’s the duty of every law-abiding citizen. But this social contract is crumbling away, and now those who earn money with the least effort are also contributing the least to society. Instead, they funnel their capital into tax havens, empty oilfields at bargain prices, and wield their political power to earn yet more money.
In this sometimes sad, sometimes hopeful film, Fredrik Gertten (Push, Bikes vs Cars) takes stock of a decaying system to show that while corruption and social inequality are a growing problem worldwide, there are still plenty of people who want to reverse this trend. Scenes of activists in multiple countries living their everyday lives talk about what made them decide to resist, and what opposition they face.
These scenes alternate with reflections from Dutch historian Rutger Bregman (author of the bestseller Humankind: A Hopeful History) and US author Sarah Chayes, as they reflect on the question of whether global corruption will prevail or whether honesty and fairness will ultimately emerge victorious.