Rich Mens's World
Rich Men’s World describes an historical curve leading from the world economic crisis of 1928 up to German reunification in 1990. In an often ironical manner, these films speak about the consequences of capitalism which is today the only remaining global ideology. In an article for ‘Vanity Fair’ from 2001, Christopher Hitchens formulated a remarkably succinct definition of ideology in an answer to what the North Koreans’ attitude toward their ‘Beloved Leader’ Kim Yong II was: “The deception of the masses is the only thing through which a people is kept mentally sound.”1 This paradoxical statement alludes to a process Slavoj Zizek describes as “the fetishistic fission at the core of a functioning ideology”: Individuals transfer their belief to a ‘grand Other’ for it to believe in their stead; they are thus freed from directly identifying with the content of the ideology. In reality, one eventually isn’t completely convinced of one’s belief. This discrepancy between real life and symbolic fiction can be applied to fetishistic objects of everyday life, like money, fashion or the make of cars. Despite the awareness of the limited material value of the objects and commodities, the institutionalised belief in their surplus value determines our actions. Against the background of this connection between collective phantasms and the societal order, the programme compiles a large number of film formats. Alternating between radical analyses and shrewd satires, the films reflect upon the position of the individual against the images and realities of the grand ideological narratives of the 20th century. F. W.
1 cited in: Slavoj Zizek: Die Revolution steht bevor.
Dreizehn Versuche über Lenin, Frankfurt am Main 2002, p. 142