Though he couldn’t have known it, in making a documentary about Davos and the World Economic Forum circa 2018 and 2019, director Marcus Vetter was shooting a portrait of a world about to pass. Though it is still led by its octogenarian founder Klaus Schwab, who emerges as a charismatic host in this film, it seems unlikely the WEF will exist in the same way by its next edition (in this respect it’s not so different from any conference or festival).

But the bigger question mark in Vetter’s doc is Schwab’s whole approach, which prizes the liberal ideal of dialogue: is it really enough to confront national leaders and multinational CEOs with a keynote about climate change when the language they live and breathe is otherwise concerned with capital, resource extraction, and tech-saviour solutions? Vetter introduces Greenpeace exec Jennifer Morgan as an oppositional figure and captures Greta Thunberg’s "Our House Is on Fire" speech, but keeps his eye mostly on the WEF way of "nudging" the globe’s implacable elite. "A fascinating and admirably balanced deep dive." - Amber Wilkinson, Screen

Director Icon Director
Marcus Vetter

Prof. Klaus Schwab, Jennifer Morgan, Murat Sönmez, Dominic Waughray, Greta Thunberg
Executive Producer Christopher Clements, Julie Goldman
Producer Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Caroline Schaper, Bettina Walter
Screenwriter Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Cinematographer Georg Zengerling
Editor Marcus Vetter, André Nier, Ana R. Fernandes, Michele Gentile
Music Marcel Vaid
Production Company gebrueder beetz filmproduktion, Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, Filmperspektive, SWR, BR, HR, SRF SRG SSR, VPRO
Source Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. KG
Germany/Switzerland 2019 92 min. German, Swiss German, English, Portuguese with English subtitles Trailer
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.

Vetter, Marcus headshot


Director Marcus Vetter has been awarded the most prestigious German film prizes. He received the German Film Award for The Heart of Jenin, has won several Grimme Awards and received the German Television Award for The Tunnel. Vetter had already addressed the financial market and global economy, with films such as The Forecaster in 2015.

Selected Filmography
The Heart of Jenin (2008); The International Criminal Court (2013); Killing for Love (2016)