The Upper Crust – Germany’s Millionaires

Documentary, 45 minutes
Written and directed by: Hanns-Bruno Kammertöns, Michael Wech

Playing polo on Mallorca, drinking champagne in Monte Carlo, golfing on Sylt island- Germany’s Millionairs seem to live into a parallel society. Many of them dwell in a world with its own values, own codes, isolated, nearly invisible for outsiders. Basic questions rarely pervade this world’s high walls: what do people do with money? And what does the money do with people?

The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing, also in Germany.
Encapsulation and alienation of the economic elite is a breaking test for society – particularly in times of insolvencies and mass sackings. Moral pressure on “those up there” increases. Are all of Germany’s millionaires selfish persons with an addiction to idleness? It’s not as simple as that. Triggered by the financial and economical crises, some of the super-rich afflict their guilty conscience. But they remain exceptions. The documentary watches some successful businessmen just as rich heirs. Among them are the luxury real estate broker Christian Völkers, airline manager Joachim Hunold, heiress baroness Marianne Brandstetter, formula one race manager Willi Weber as well as Philipp Daniel Merckle, son of the deceased billionaire Adolf Merckle. The film leads into a world between unlimited consumerism and the search for meaning.

First Run: