Generation Wealth (2018) Movie Script

-[stammers] Do-- Dolce. Dolce.
-Dolce. Dolce and Gabbana.
-[teacher] Yeah.
-Louis Vuitton.
-[woman] Louis Vuitton.
[woman speaking Mandarin]
-Louis Vuitton.
-[woman] Louis Vuitton.
[camera shutter clicks]
There wasn't a toy I couldn't buy.
There wasn't a boat I couldn't buy.
There wasn't a plane I couldn't buy.
There was nothing I couldn't buy.
I love money.
Come to me.
[shutter clicks]
[Lauren] Eden, what do you wanna do
with the beauty pageants?
-What do you wanna win? What's your goal?
Money. Money. Money.
I would have money as big as this room.
[Lauren] What do you wanna do
with that money, Eden?
Spend it all. And kiss it.
[shutter clicks]
I do believe it's un-American to say
you can make too much money.
I mean, TheFederalist Papers say,
if I wanna work 100 hours a week
and never see my family and die
at an early age, that's my prerogative.
[camera shutters clicking]
This is from the Atlantis in Dubai.
[Lauren] What were you doing in Dubai?
The prince.
[all laugh]
[man] You want to throw money.
You want people to look at you.
It's power. The money power.
Tonight we're not even worried
about tomorrow. Fuck it.
[man 2] It's kind of like the end of Rome.
I mean, the pyramids were built
at the moment
of precipitous Egyptian decline.
And that's what always happens.
Societies accrue their greatest wealth...
at the moment that they face death.
[slide projector clicking]
I've been a photographer for 25 years...
with my lens focused on wealth
and the excesses of our culture.
The scale of the excess became clear
when I documented the family
building the largest house in America.
I noticed that
no matter how much people had,
they still wanted more.
I wondered if the hundreds
of individual stories I had shot
about money...
body image...
even plastic surgery for dogs,
were all connected.
And what they said about us.
To understand what it all added up to,
in 2008,
I began working on a book
and exhibition about wealth.
It would take me back to my earliest work.
In 1991, I was just starting out
as a photojournalist.
I had studied visual anthropology
in college
and landed my first assignment
with National Geographic,
photographing a Maya Indian village
in Chiapas, Mexico.
My mom was a professor of psychology
and had been doing research there
20 years before,
so we worked together on the project.
[indistinct chatter]
My mother spoke the language
and was at home there.
But I struggled to understand the culture
and found it really hard
to be accepted into people's lives.
After we had spent months in the field,
National Geographic killed the story.
I was devastated.
I almost quit photography.
My boyfriend sent me a tape
to encourage me.
Hi, Lauren. Frank here.
I just got your letters today.
I really, really miss you.
Go out and do your photography
and be aggressive.
The more you put yourself
into this kind of work,
you're gonna end up confident about
looking for jobs and everything else.
So, please work hard, okay?
[Lauren] Frank helped me see
that I shouldn't give up
and that I needed to find a story
where I had a deeper connection
to the subject.
I happened to find an old copy
of Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero.
The fictional world he depicted
of jaded excess and too much money
resonated with what I remembered
growing up in LA.
I started thinking about my own culture
in almost anthropological terms
and realized I wanted to go home
and explore it.
LA diary, March 4, 1992.
My photography will concentrate
on the social rituals of teenage life.
I wanna photograph senior ditch day,
extravagant parties
with walkie-talkie equipped bouncers,
girls in designer dresses
with hair professionally done,
Mercedes and BMWs.
One day I was photographing
at my former high school,
a private school in Santa Monica.
-[young Lauren] Here we go.
-[boy] Testing. One, two, three.
[young Lauren]
What do you think about growing up in LA?
[Lauren] These three boys said,
"Growing up in LA is about money."
And they pulled out dollar bills.
And it wasn't until I processed the film
that I realized
they were holding up hundred dollar bills.
And these were 13-year-olds.
[boy] Money just ruins kids.
It's ruined a lot of kids I know.
On the first day of school,
Kate Hudson went,
"I'm not gonna tell you
who my mom is, she's a big star.
And my dad's a bigger star."
It affects kids who I know, who you know,
how rich you are, what your dad does,
what your mom does,
what you have, what I have.
That narcissism that is so full-blown
in the culture now
was just beginning to rear its head
in that moment in LA.
[newscaster] Photographer
Lauren Greenfield has captured the lives
of some of Hollywood's children
and displayed them in a new book titled,
Fast Forward: Growing Up
in the Shadow of Hollywood.
Let's go to the young man
celebrating his bar mitzvah.
Tell us about this. This doesn't look like
a religious rite to me.
[Lauren] The family who had this party
rented out the Whiskey a Go Go nightclub
on the Sunset Strip
and brought in go-go girls
as entertainment for the kids.
[man] Looking at all the pictures, I'm
left with a real end-of-the-world quality,
as though there is a kind
of ultra-decadence.
These are the images of a society
in extraordinary decline.
But I'm wondering what
you were looking for.
I had no idea what I was looking for then.
But now I saw a relationship
between what I was covering in the '90s
in my first book
and where we found ourselves today.
It made me want to figure out
why our obsession with wealth
and status had grown
and why I felt compelled
to document it so relentlessly.
So I decided to go back
to the teen subjects from Los Angeles.
-[both] Hi!
[Paris] Holy shit.
The '90s were crazy.
[both laugh]
They're inhaling air freshener
at nutrition break.
That party that you photographed me in
was probably one
of the tamest parties I ever had.
I mean, the shit I used to do... [laughs]
My father, he is the singer
for REO Speedwagon.
When I was born was when he really started
having some commercial success,
which is good for him,
bad for a kid trying to be parented.
You know,
we got raised backstage by a roadie.
I could get away with murder
because my dad was on the road
and my mom was preoccupied,
and how I got attention was by acting out
and by getting in trouble.
It really does take a village
to raise somebody,
and I didn't get that, I was more--
I was raised on an island with a butler.
[Lauren] What do you think it is about LA
that makes kids grow up fast?
[girl] It just seems like everyone's
in a rush to be an adult.
They're losing their innocence
so young now.
I hope to stay young forever.
I don't wanna grow old.
I think I was maybe 17 when we first met.
You came to my school and you told us
you were doing a project.
We became friends
and you started following me around.
You know, you can look from the outside
and think, "Oh, her life is perfect,"
or "She's pretty,"
and "She's homecoming queen,"
and this and that, but, you know...
My family struggled a lot
with, like, financial problems.
And these rich Beverly Hills kids can have
anything their heart desires, you know.
That was one way I didn't fit in.
It was kind of like a thing, like,
"You're pretty so you can be our friend."
I was homecoming queen
and I had best body.
[Mijanou and Lauren laugh]
That was what it was called? Best body?
[Mijanou] Well, it was the senior poll
where I had the best physique, I guess.
[both laugh]
So it was like you dressed
with, like, tight clothes
and trying to look sexy
in the way that the magazines say
or, like, toward the male gaze.
Oh, my God, look at that girl, Scotty.
-[horn honks]
-Hop in!
Mija was my girlfriend
in seventh or eighth grade
in elementary school,
-[Branden] And your hot Latina. [laughs]
[Eddie] Well...
With probably one of the best racks
in high school.
It's not bad. Let's be honest here, Eddie.
Hopefully, this is cut.
We don't wanna be disrespectful.
We're not being disrespectful.
It's the truth, Eddie.
It is.
Growing up here, we thought
the entire world revolved around us.
I feel like I actually got pretty scarred
from that time.
And did any of that stay with you?
Whatever things happened in high school
is always what you're, like,
trying to heal from later on in life,
you know.
It really-- You're so young
and impressionable
that I think those experiences
really shape you.
[Lauren] When I was in high school,
I was really shy and a little insecure
and, like most teenagers,
I felt like I didn't fit in.
I picked up photography
to try to make sense of my world.
[man] I mean, you went to a--
kind of a fancy high school.
Education was important and it would cost
a lot of money to go there.
We found a way to pay for it.
But the values were not my own values.
I think you, like a normal girl growing up
in LA, suffered a little bit from it.
You were trying to fit in from
the viewpoint of clothes, nice house,
a house you could bring people to.
I think Crossroads made you anxious
about keeping up with the Joneses.
The Brentwood parents were afraid
to let their daughters
come and visit you in Venice
because they thought it was too dangerous.
[Sheldon] You actually one time got out
of the car a block away from Crossroads
so your friends...
wouldn't have to see the car
that I was driving.
[Lauren] I remember not being able to buy,
like, the clothes that everybody else had.
[Patricia] Mm-hmm.
The things you didn't have
were the things that I didn't believe in.
The fact that I had everything I needed,
and still didn't feel like I had enough,
made me want to figure out why,
in my work.
-Who is this knocking on my door?
-How you doing?
-You don't go by G-Mo anymore.
-You can still call me G-Mo. It's okay.
[hip-hop music plays]
I came from a good family.
I came from a real-- You know, we--
My parents worked hard every day.
Very middle-class. Very much so.
When I was in the sixth grade,
I went to public school
and it was just, you know, same old shit.
But, in the seventh grade,
I went to this really expensive school,
That's when I got my first good glimpse
of a lot of money
and I was like, "That's what I want."
Black people aren't really supposed
to have stuff in America,
but this rap thing is changing everything.
Hollywood helped me out that day.
Made my life like a movie.
A single girl brought me a platter
with a 40-ounce on it.
Everybody wants to have money.
Everybody wants to be surrounded
by beautiful women.
Everybody wants to have the mansion.
It's like the American dream kinda stuff.
The dream,
it was about you seeing me doing it big.
You kinda started laying
a blueprint back then,
and it's been followed and followed,
now that's almost standard fare.
What G-Mo noticed seemed to be a shift
in the meaning of the American dream.
It was almost like it had turned into
a quest for fame and fortune.
And we had left behind the values
of hard work, frugality and discretion
that had defined our parents' generation.
Was your story an American dream story?
Well, in many respects, it was
because my dad was an immigrant
and I started to achieve heights
that my parents couldn't even imagine.
It was a period of upward mobility.
[Lauren] And was it the American dream
for your parents that you went to Harvard?
It was. My dad would say,
"Yeah, my son Shelly,
he goes to Harvard, Harvard, Harvard,
Harvard, Harvard."
He couldn't stop--
he couldn't stop saying it.
My dad tried to instill ideals in me,
and they-- and many of them stuck.
[Lauren] Like?
Well, like, trying to do good
in the world.
I think it was partly the times, yes.
I was still basking in the ethos
of the '60s and the '70s.
The '80s started to actually change things
quite a bit.
-[man] Can I come in?
-[Lauren] Come in. Come in. Come in.
Oh, my God, so opulent.
Exactly not my world anymore.
The origin of all this fascination
with wealth is the US government itself
spending way beyond their means.
Now I'll try to keep this simple
so I don't lose the-- the viewer.
In '71, America dropped off
the gold standard.
That basically meant the money
in circulation was no longer backed
by any assets.
The '70s was the turning point.
We began to borrow to maintain
both a lifestyle and an empire
we could no longer afford.
We shifted from an empire of production
to an empire of consumption.
Abandonment of the gold standard
led to abandonment of fiscal discipline.
Print it like crazy, make it like crazy.
[Ronald Reagan]
We cut your tax rates by nearly 25%.
America, go for it.
The values of the Reagan '80s
really placed this emphasis on wealth.
There was the idea that
you were better off driving a BMW
and looking super hot.
Now, if you look great
and you have a nice car,
I'm all for it,
but at the expense of what?
[Lauren] In the '80s, a lot of people
I knew were going into banking.
And a lot of them wanted
to be like this fictional character,
Gordon Gekko.
The point is, ladies and gentlemen,
that greed, for lack of a better word,
is good.
Greed is right. Greed works.
I was definitely Gordon Gekko.
My father told me, "Well, the closer you
are to the money, the more you will have."
The lights went on and something triggered
up there and said, "Hmm...
There must be a way to make so much money
that you never look back."
According to court statements,
my wealth was,
at its peak, 600 million euros,
roughly 800 million dollars,
plus or minus
whatever the exchange rate is.
[Lauren] For the sake of full disclosure,
how do we know each other?
You were not even a senior.
And at the very beginning
of your filmmaking.
I was attending Harvard Business School
at the time.
It's the West Point of capitalism.
[Lauren] Does Harvard Business School
teach you how to be a good person?
No, we're fine-tuned to rule the world.
That's it.
[man] My dad was always like
a larger-than-life figure,
casting, like, a huge shadow,
and I wanted to be just like him
when I was a kid.
[Lauren] And what drove him?
He always wanted more, basically,
in my opinion.
More money, more power
and more fame/infamy.
I've been called psychopath
because I could get so detached...
just thinking what is the best,
highest return.
I am also in exile
and on the FBI Most Wanted List.
That being as it is,
if I'd been around 300 years earlier,
I would've been a discoverer.
But the most exciting thing you could do
in our generation was to be a tycoon.
You have so much motivation for your work.
-What's your driver?
-The money.
My father worked on Wall Street,
so definitely it was in my blood.
I mean, I'm 39 years old,
haven't had a family yet, um...
Haven't ever been married.
I was working on my career
so I wasn't focused on my personal life.
I thought I could never be with anybody
who made less money than I did.
Now I'm making a lot of money,
so, you know,
the field has really narrowed
I've tried to build up a real net worth
and I collect contemporary art.
We now have, like, 100 pieces of art
in the collection.
That's good. I like that one, that style.
-This one was a late addition.
We thought that was too posey.
I think it's a little posey.
-You think it's--
-Like Life magazine.
[Lauren] I brought in Trudy Wilner Stack,
a longtime collaborator,
to help me look through and edit
the hundreds of thousands of pictures.
Everything's in the wrong place.
-[Lauren laughs]
-[Trudy] Clean person.
But you know what?
You have your big assembly tomorrow.
Are you-- have you learned
everything for it?
These two are from the bag party.
What's a bag party?
Hurry up.
[woman] The day I went to buy
the Louis Vuitton handbag,
I was the happiest girl in the world.
I took the bag, and everyone,
"Oh, God! You bought your bag!
Oh, yes, it's beautiful!"
And everybody bows to the bag,
and then I said,
"Okay, what next?"
[woman 2]
I have a combination of many bags.
I guess my bag of choice
is the classic Birkin.
I have them, I think,
in almost every color.
These are Herms bags that women collect.
Some owning hundreds of thousands
or millions of dollars' worth of bags.
-And the bags start at 20,000 and go up.
-[party chatter]
[Lauren] And how do you, a therapist,
know so much information
about the Birkin bag?
Well, I see them every day.
It's part of my life.
You know, as much as you can dismiss
or scoff at people obsessing
about their Birkin bags,
I think it really does say something
about their mental health
as something that, at its best,
probably can and should be addressed.
[man] I started off with just
a tiny little skinny chain
and it grew into this.
Thirty-three pounds of gold and diamonds
given to me by superstars of the world,
dead and gone legends.
I absolutely love old-world elegance.
[Lauren] And you're famous for?
I'm a two-time Guinness Book
world-record holder
of the longest limousine in the world,
with a swimming pool
and a helicopter landing pad
and a Boeing 727 jet limo.
When you pull up in a limousine,
they don't know who you are,
but they think you're someone.
The bigger, the longer they are,
the more exotic they are,
the more the head turns.
You gotta fake it till you make it.
It just gives off that image
that I should be worshipped almost.
I'm somebody, you're not.
I can afford this, you can't.
That somehow propels them in this culture.
Poor people are the ones that spend
the most money on the $700 shoes,
the ones that don't have it.
You want the ones with the bars
and the sparkly...
the bedazzles on the side
with the shiny... you know what I mean,
make the girls sweat.
You know, pay about $1,200, $1,300,
you know what I mean.
[Kingpin] It's about exclusivity.
Can you call up and get you
a pair of fresh Giuseppes
or do you get to go in the back
of the Versace store and shop?
The American dream, to me,
it's all about status right now.
It's the new doctor in front of your name.
We hold out the illusion
of the American dream.
But not only can we and our children
not attain...
what generations had before...
but things are getting worse.
When there is no social mobility...
the only social mobility you have
is fictitious.
The presentation that you give
to the rest of the world
denies your own reality.
I've come to look at mass culture
and in particular television
as a form of violence.
Because 24 hours a day
this fictitious lifestyle,
which we're all told that we can have,
fuels this sense of inadequacy.
[Lauren] People used to compare themselves
to their neighbors.
And they aspired to the neighbor
that had a little bit more than they had.
This is so beautiful.
This is like we're in Italy, honey.
[Lauren] What's changed is that now
people spend more time
with the people they see on TV
than their actual neighbors
and they want what they have.
I probably know the names
of the Kardashians better than
I know the names of my neighbors.
If you watch anything long enough,
you're gonna kinda think it's real.
You're gonna start making decisions
based on what you've seen on TV.
[George W. Bush]
I do believe in the American dream.
Owning a home is a part of that dream.
If one of the goals
is to increase home ownership,
it makes sense to help people pay
that down payment.
When we put down the rules, I said,
"Well, this rule's not gonna
help me make money, right?
So let's tone this rule down."
So we set the playing field
right for us only.
Not for the investor,
not for the loan taker, for us.
The American economy
has retained its momentum...
Mr. Greenspan lets open the floodgates
and allows everybody to borrow money.
If you give money out at no cost
to hundreds of millions worldwide,
they're gonna do stupid things with it.
[woman] We never sought out to build
the biggest house in America.
It just, like, kind of happened.
[Lauren] When I made the film,
The Queen of Versailles,
with David and Jackie Siegel,
who were trying to build a palace inspired
by the real Versailles in France,
what I saw was the dream
that everyone had, but bigger.
And they did it the same way
everyone else did,
which was by borrowing.
[Lauren] You think every American
wants to feel rich?
I think so.
Everyone wants to be rich.
If they can't be rich,
the next best thing is to feel rich.
And if they don't wanna feel rich,
then they're probably...
[Lauren] It seemed like we were
all addicted to consumerism.
And with globalization,
it kind of spread like a virus.
[man] There was so much money,
it was crazy.
I was working as a sailor.
And then there was a boom in Iceland.
Everyone wanted to go work in a bank.
And I also wanted to try
like other people.
[Lauren] In 2003,
the tiny fishing country of Iceland
began the most rapid expansion
of a banking system
in the history of humankind.
It was a big salary in the bank.
We were just a small country.
And the president of Iceland said,
"We will be the best in the business."
And the bank loaned everyone money.
You see the movies from Hollywood
and want to have something more extra.
When we were making the house,
my wife saw a decoration magazine
and said, "Oh, that is beautiful."
It was just like Kardashia?
[Lauren] What is it?
-[Lauren] Kardashians?
Kardashians, yeah, sorry. [chuckles]
I built a waterfall in the house.
It was our dream
to have a sauna in the house.
It's ridiculous.
[Lauren] Building big
to express success and status
was not limited to Europe
or the United States.
In China, I met a businessman who built
a full-scale replica of the White House
and the view from his office
was Mount Rushmore.
This trip in 2000
was my first big foreign assignment
and an opportunity to cover
the new wealth in China.
But the timing was rough.
[baby cries]
When Noah was two weeks old,
Time magazine sent me a fax
offering me the job.
I took it to Frank, crying, and said,
"I told you my career would be over
when I had a baby."
At that time, the women
who were successful photographers
had chosen not to be mothers.
Frank was like,
"What are you talking about?
You should go."
I asked the pediatrician
if it would be damaging to a baby
to be separated from its mother
at ten weeks.
And he said it'll be fine for the baby,
but it's too punishing for the mother.
I convinced myself that Noah
would be fine.
So I pumped 300 ounces of milk...
and went to China for ten days.
Being away was hard...
but over the next 14 years, I still made
11 more trips to China and Russia
because the stories were so compelling.
With histories of revolutions that tried
to abolish class and inequality,
the desire for luxury and status
was even stronger.
Thirty years ago,
China was an incipient basket case.
I mean, it was total isolation,
everybody was on bicycle.
China is now the biggest market
for all the Western luxury brands.
What the modern-day Chinese woman
is looking for today is a guide.
Their mothers grew up during
the Cultural Revolution, right,
so nobody could teach them
how to wear lingerie.
Whenever you carry your hat
or you put your hat on your lap,
never show the inside.
It's like showing the inside
of your clothes.
How to eat a banana elegantly
with a knife and fork.
[in Mandarin]
When the banana is stabilized,
I am cutting it from a 90-degree angle.
See that?
[in English]
Some people have criticized me, saying,
"Oh, why are these people paying
16,000 US dollars to go learn
how to cut an orange elegantly?"
But everybody who's taken the class
has said it's worth every penny spent.
[Ilona] In Russia, 20 years ago, they have
a small apartment or small house.
They don't have possibilities
to have big house like mine.
The new Russians, the rich Russians,
they build huge libraries, very expensive,
with fantastic books,
and they are not opening it
and it's not touchable.
You cannot even--
"May I look at this book?"
"No, no, no. It's very expensive."
So what?
It's a book.
[Lauren] In Moscow, the debutante ball
of the 19th century has been revived,
but instead of aristocrats,
the girls coming out are the daughters
of oligarchs and celebrities.
[in Russian] The difference between
the "War and Peace" ball
in ancient Russia and the one now
is the difference between real life
and theater.
[Lauren in English] The ball is sponsored
by Maserati and Chanel
and is basically a way
to sell luxury brands to Russian women.
In thinking about the wealth project,
I started seeing connections with work
I had done for a book called Girl Culture.
For years I had been looking
at how girls learn from a young age
that their bodies have currency.
Beauty is how you win.
[woman] When I was single,
I dated all kinds of guys.
I even dated Donald Trump.
[host] Donald, we wanted you to...
[Lauren] And why do we have to suffer
to be beautiful?
I guess, it must be a man's world
out there.
Women get their legs waxed,
their bikinis waxed,
they do these cosmetic procedures,
they have to put on makeup.
Women get the short end of the stick
because we work the same hours
and do all the same things
and then have all this other stuff to do.
[Lauren] I first met Suzanne
for a story I was doing for a magazine
about who spends the most
on body maintenance...
and Suzanne spent the most...
by far.
I think looking good is important
in any business, not just mine.
I'm out dealing with clients,
selling something, in a sense.
People like dealing
with attractive people.
It's human nature.
[female student] It's very apparent, the
weight that's put on having longer hair,
that's less, like, nappy
and having lighter skin.
When I was in 11th grade, like,
some people started to make fun of me
because I was darker-skinned.
I kind of got down on myself after that.
We base beauty off of one thing,
and however close you are
to that one thing,
makes you prettier than other people.
When you were born, you were
in the 50th percentile for height
and the 90th percentile for weight.
So, I know that, you know,
being short and a little bit round
was your genetic body,
but it wasn't the body,
you know, of the magazines and television,
and so you weren't satisfied with it.
You know,
I think I kept you on the right path
in terms of avoiding an eating disorder,
which you later studied.
When I made my first film, Thin,
about women with eating disorders...
it was really looking at the heart
of darkness of mental illness.
But a social historian told me,
"Psychopathologies come and go...
but they always tell us about
the historical time period
in which they're produced."
Eating disorders are really common
in the United States. One in seven.
And they flourish in...
countries of affluence
where food is abundant
and where withholding food has power.
Chantelle had an eating disorder
and she felt modeling was exploitative.
So she started cutting herself
and she had really mutilated her body
because she said she wanted to damage
the property.
When she referred to her body as property,
that really brought home the idea
of the commodification of the body.
[woman] What does "beautiful" mean to you?
That I get money
and I'm gonna be a superstar!
We've probably got $100,000 invested
-in the last four and a half years.
-[crowd cheering, applauding]
You have wardrobe, you have hair,
you have makeup, you have coaching.
The town that we are from
has a population of 566.
Just the fact that someone
picked her to be on Toddlers and Tiaras
was amazing to me.
[woman] Get it, girl!
[Mickie] Mom here got to thinking,
what would be the biggest thing
that we could do for a three-year-old?
That's how the showgirl costume
came to be.
And she won.
The connotations that come
with the Vegas showgirl,
never crossed my mind.
Apparently, the derriere part
would be open or-- or topless, but,
you know, I wanted glamour
and feathers and glitz.
I always say that maybe if you think
there was something inappropriate,
then maybe there's something wrong
with your thought process
because Mama here doesn't see it that way.
We're a completely pornified culture.
The images of porn are now so pervasive
and accessible throughout the society,
they've leeched into popular culture.
Oh, my God.
[Kim] Are you serious?
[Noah] It's TV, like, the Internet, ads.
I know a lot of kids and stuff
watch, like, porn
and that's also where
a lot of it comes from.
Like the unrealistic women.
I think most people are like--
probably including me--
were exposed to porn at, like...
seventh grade maybe.
You're seeing stuff
that's just completely fake.
It's just like-- it's a movie.
And, like, there's a camera crew
just like this.
Everything's scripted, people believe it
'cause, like, they wanna believe it
and they think that's, like,
how real interactions are.
[phone buzzes]
[Lauren] Does that affect the kinds
of pictures your friends are posting?
[Noah] Yeah. I see a lot of my friends
in, like, very revealing bikinis
to make sure they get a lot of likes.
I did an Instagram study.
The photos that didn't receive
a lot of likes
were stuff like family, and stuff the kids
were trying to get away from.
Guys want what's really demeaning
for women.
And to match, like, guys' expectations,
I think a lot of women
probably try to replicate it.
Perfect. I actually do have an interview
with that girl,
where she says we wanna dance
like strippers.
[girl] I wanna be a dancer.
Topless dancing showgirl.
I think it'd be fun,
dancing with my tits showing off.
If I can accomplish being that,
then I can accomplish anything.
Booty up and tip your booty side to side.
So it's almost like a little back stretch.
There were even trendy exercise classes
that taught cardio strip tease.
So, we're half an arm from our pole,
right hand is up,
we step with your inside foot.
Spin! Hip shift to the left this time.
But you could just keep your handcuffs on
if you prefer.
So let's roll over and crawl
and act like we like it.
[Lauren] When you're documenting
the effects of popular culture,
it's almost like the air we breathe.
It's everywhere,
and so it's hard to actually see it.
In my work,
I often look at the extremes...
to understand the mainstream.
At Magic City, beautiful girls
use their sexual capital
to rise to the top.
We don't have movie stars in Atlanta
so the strippers are the movie stars.
They're high-class.
When I first started dancing here,
it felt like I made it,
like I was in Hollywood.
It was like you were
in the middle of a music video.
Shortcut, shortcut, shortcut.
Make it overnight, make it overnight.
Unfortunately, more and more people
are trying to find a way
around the hard work that it takes
to be successful in life.
Being average has never been
an option for me.
Going to a nine-to-five would just be--
that would be hurtful.
It's just the fact that I can throw money
on a person... and she likes it.
It's a rush.
I don't give a fuck.
Gotta throw this money like yeah!
Throw it!
Know what I'm saying? It's not finesse.
[grunts] Like whoa!
She might get paper cut.
What the fuck is wrong
with these people, man?
Order another thousand! Fuck it.
[Lauren] Like DJ Esco,
I was both critic and participant.
Shooting for magazines gave me
the front row seat to the popular culture
that I needed for my own work.
Yeah, lift your leg. Yeah.
Where's Charlie now? Is he in rehab?
I was banging seven gram rocks
and finishing them.
Because that's how I roll.
I have one speed. I have one gear. Go.
[TV host] It appears Charlie checked
himself before he wrecked himself,
writing a $30,000 check for porn star
and party animal Kacey Jordan.
Amy said he gave you an unusual tip,
like a ball of coke.
It was huge.
The dream was always to be an actress.
This really makes you feel like
a movie star when you're in makeup.
It was kind of like the film career
that I always wanted.
When I found out I could be an
adult film star, I was like, "Let's go."
'Cause when you have nothing else to do
in a town you don't wanna be in...
Got a plane ticket, found an agent.
I got phone calls from everybody at ABC
and they are overwhelmed
by how many people liked you.
So that was pretty cool.
It was definitely the feeling
of being really close to my dream.
You know, before I left Oregon,
I was living out of my car
so I didn't have to live
under my parents' rules
and I was living off Taco Bell because
it's the cheapest thing you could do.
I had 88 cents,
and the bean burrito was 89 cents.
I just broke down crying
at the Taco Bell cashier.
And a year later, I was living across
from the Grove on the top penthouse floor.
That was one of the coolest moments
of my life, was that feeling of success.
I was like buying my sister, my family--
I'm like, "Oh, here's a flatscreen."
Like, "Let's just go to Best Buy
and just pick out whatever you want.
It's just cash."
It was just, like, from zero to 100
and I was addicted.
Are you guys ready?
I was determined
to make something out of myself.
Leaving Kansas...
I said, "Mama, one day
you're gonna see me walk a red carpet."
I was a single mother coming to Vegas.
I vowed to make that money
to be able to give my son something
and to always be able to take care
of myself where I didn't depend on a man.
What I do in Las Vegas
is a pretty important business.
When it comes to VIPs,
everybody wants to feel like a rock star.
I've gotta make sure that they've got
the best tables or cabanas
that are around $10,000,
that they have the best bottle service.
If you've got the girls,
you've got the game.
She's not a madam.
Just wanna clarify that out right now.
From her son.
I mean, sure, blonde hair, big boobs--
yeah, I know a lot of those, but...
you don't compare to Tiffany.
Like, she's queen of Vegas, you know?
Are you wearing underwear?
-[Preston] Mom... legs.
-It is white.
-You see her panties all the time.
-Have some class, don't show ass.
Ooh! I like that!
Are you out tonight, question mark.
Trouble is a-brewing.
[Preston] I've seen a lot.
You couldn't show me anything else
that would make my head spin.
I've seen everything, from $5,000 contests
to see who looks best naked.
I've seen--
I've done bachelor parties for girls
who are doing toy shows
on a hotel room floor.
Toy shows, that means erotic toys?
[Tiffany] I'm such an untraditional mom.
It's been, like, a challenge, like,
am I gonna bring him out
into this nightlife or not?
And I-- I'm bringing him in.
[Preston] I'd love to DJ for as long
as I could possibly use my fingers.
But I'm also really big
into lizards, so...
if I ever retired one day,
I would just probably own a pet store,
probably make me happier.
[Homm] It's not a moral discussion.
Sex is, of course,
an extension of commerce.
What isn't?
We're in the VIP suite
of the Artemis Wellness Club.
Some would say "bordello" in Berlin.
I used to be co-investor in here.
We're matching buyers--
well, technically,
you call them johns in America--
and the sellers, which we would prefer
to call sex workers, not even prostitutes.
I lost my virginity when I was like 15
to a prostitute in Amsterdam
and my dad was the one
who actually took me there.
My son was driving me absolutely nuts
with this girl and that girl
and "I'm, like, having bets in school,
who will kiss the first girl"
and I said "We're--
we're going to Amsterdam, young man."
And he was like,
"You're almost turning 16,
I can't believe you're still a virgin.
I lost my virginity when I was 14
to a prostitute that I paid
with a jar of coins."
It's like a rite of initiation.
[Lauren] Did you pay for it?
Yeah! I can't let my son pay for it.
That would be completely criminal.
He paid her, like, a bonus
for teaching me how to--
how to have sex properly.
Unfettered, unregulated capitalism
does what it's designed to do,
which is commodify everything.
Even human beings become commodities
that you exploit...
for profit, until exhaustion or collapse.
[Lauren] Did you ever take painkillers
or drugs to get through a scene?
Uh, yeah, a lot of times.
Like, I actually had my ass torn...
last year
and I took a lot of painkillers
for that one.
[coughs] Sorry.
I did a 58...
58-guy bukkake.
-Is there more than 50?
-I doubt it.
Is there less than 50? Is there a chance?
Guys, quiet! Listen!
Fifty-eight loads to the face.
So much for makeup and hair.
And I am still remembered like,
"Oh, I loved that scene you did."
I get a lot of clients from just the fact
that I did that scene.
[woman] Chin up a little more.
-[man] Nipples out?
-[woman] Not yet.
[Kacey] As much work as I've gotten
from it, it was worth it.
[man] Good job!
[Kacey] But I actually got salmonella.
It's like a food-borne illness,
and I got it.
-[man] Good job!
-Oh, my God!
It's probably 'cause someone had it
and it went in my eye or something.
It was so weird.
I wanted to do
something cool or something new
where I could be remembered,
but, yeah-- and it worked.
Yeah, I always say, Kim is my inspiration
for I can still make it, you know,
'cause I have lots of sex tapes to show
and maybe I'll still
come out on top somehow.
This is pretty hard core. Maybe we should,
you know, not think about it too much.
-[Lauren] And then--
-[Trudy] Oh, my God.
When we started, we thought
we were gonna go through about...
five file cabinets of pictures
and then we ended up going through
half a million pictures.
Almost everything I had done
related to this theme and this project.
Going through the pictures,
I realized wealth was
much more than money.
It was whatever gave us value.
Sexuality, branding, even youth.
When I was in my 20s,
I went to the dermatologist
for a routine checkup...
and unsolicited, he offered me Botox.
I was so shocked to find out that
I had a problem I didn't know existed.
Then I realized this could be a project.
People were not aging,
like in prior generations.
So, I started documenting the value
of staying young.
And the cost of not being who you are.
And yearning to be something different.
Cosmetic procedures
weren't just for the rich anymore.
Most people who got them
made less than $50,000 a year.
I looked at many cable shows of people
who had had plastic surgery.
She has worked harder on herself
than she ever has before in her life.
I ate it up.
[audience cheering]
[Lauren] It's almost like there's
a new version of the American dream.
The physical makeover
as the rags-to-riches success story.
Cathy was a school bus driver
and single mom.
[Cathy] I took a raw look at myself.
I was no longer married.
I didn't have the financial stability
that I wanted, I didn't own a home--
that had been one of my goals for years,
I could let that go.
What really mattered in life
was to be in the best body that I could.
The summer of '07 is when
all the opportunities seemed to converge.
I went to Brazil to get plastic surgery.
I had a...
pregnancy that really had distorted
my body.
Carrying so large with a nine-pound baby,
I had a lot of skin.
[Lauren] How'd that make you feel
when you looked in the mirror?
And I had contemplated
how it affects my daughter.
She was an early bloomer
and she was about to enter into an age
where her body would change
even more rapidly.
I'd always come to the conclusion
that me satisfying my own body issues
was the best thing I could do for her.
[Lauren] If I said to your kids,
"Where's your mom now?"
What would they say?
In Brazil getting her stom--
her tummy tucked.
[laughs] They're very happy for me.
I've also added to the list a breast lift
and a breast augmentation.
I've been convinced
that I would look wonderful
with a little Brazilian butt lift.
And we are sculpting under my neck
with lipo
and we are reshaping my nose
to refine it--
refine the tip and get rid of a bump.
I paid for it on credit.
I didn't have all the money at the time.
It was sort of a miracle unfolding
in front of me.
But my parents did help me some, which was
not a position I wanted to put them in,
but my mother, I believe,
recognized that this was
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.
[Lauren] Is the plastic surgery here
the same as in the United States?
It's different.
The anesthesiologist
like to use this technique.
General anesthetic...
it's not necessary.
I was thinking,
this is not like buying a purse.
I could take a purse back.
What if I make the wrong decision?
I'm a little overwhelmed,
I'm a little confused
and I'm more alone than I thought.
Do I know what I'm doing?
I know what I'm doing.
I'm a good mother. I'm a good person.
I might be indulgent.
I can't tell. I'm sleepy.
The greatest relief was seeing myself...
changed, better.
When considering one's own body,
that's a life skill,
a coping skill that every young woman
has to-- has to develop.
My daughter-- that was hard for her.
It was the changing emotions
of emerging on adulthood.
She went in her bedroom at the time
and she cut herself.
She carved...
she carved letters in her forehead.
"Dead," as if she wished she were dead.
And that was the hardest thing
I've dealt with in my life.
The hardest thing.
Why would you...
intentionally distort...
deface your body?
I felt it was a failure of myself
to impart to her how much she's loved...
and how much she's worth.
[Suzanne] I always wanted children.
I waited till 40.
I thought it was time to get married.
We had already seen fertility specialists
who said, you know,
you should start yesterday, not tomorrow.
As we sit here today, I'm in the process
of doing my fifth IVF cycle.
We're not talking about $500, $600, $800,
we're talking about five times in,
you're at $100,000.
You know, our charity dollars this year
went towards trying to get pregnant.
The process has cut
our social life way back.
It's not romantic.
It's not, "Oh, let's drink a wonderful
bottle of wine and make love,"
and, you know, "Here, we got pregnant."
I had hired the best doctors,
I was paying top dollar.
If I read somewhere that, you know,
exercising wasn't good,
I stopped exercising.
If I read somewhere that
Mayan uterine massage was good,
I went and had Mayan uterine massage.
I've cut back on the Botox more
because I'm concerned
about injecting botulism toxin
into my body, you know.
Maybe that's not such a good idea
if I'm trying to get pregnant.
So, I've kinda done it less,
you know, it's funny,
after my failed cycle this summer,
I hadn't had Botox and I went right in
to make myself feel better.
My time was running out
in terms of getting a viable egg.
I knew somebody through business who said,
"Get my surrogate to do it for you."
My doctor,
when he first examined Jennifer,
said, you know, this woman's like
a walking baby carrier.
Like, this is great.
When you're a surrogate,
you just have to have a strong mind-set
that you're kind of babysitting
for nine months, you know.
I'm holding on to it,
I'm gonna take care of it for you
and then I'm handing it off.
-Was it expensive to do a surrogate?
And what did you need the extra money for?
Right now I have a three bedroom,
one bath...
which I'm okay with it, but I don't know.
Bigger is better, right? [laughs]
Jennifer was great,
in the sense that it was my thing.
She did what I wanted her to do
and so I micromanaged
pretty much every aspect of it.
She thinks about things
like I never thought about.
Not standing in front of the microwave
because it would affect me
getting pregnant,
or don't drink out of Styrofoam cups,
no sugar substitutes.
Was your husband equally committed
to having a baby?
You know, the answer is no.
The reality is,
after the fifth or sixth try,
he was no longer that interested,
so it was really...
a very solo journey for me.
It's me, myself and I and my worth
which is net worth. Nothing else.
I had homes of 20,000 square feet
I had never spent a night in
'cause I was too busy working.
Hard to believe, if you do the math,
but in busy days,
300 to 500 telephone calls a day.
I think the first time he retired,
he had a lot of money already--
I don't know how much.
He could've stopped working
and led a family life if he had wanted to.
We were renting a castle in France
in the boondocks.
There was no cell signal
and my kids still today laugh
when they said I was climbing
on the highest peaks,
holding up my telephone to get a signal.
That vacation cost me at least three
or four million in forgone profit.
[Conrad] My dad was always like completely
disinterested in the family life.
I found out he had an affair.
I think she was either a stripper
or a go-go dancer.
How was she different from your wife?
It is hilarious. Yes, fake breasts.
Very commercially minded.
Well, tell me about this intense...
love for excess,
whether it's money, women--
-Work. [chuckles]
-[Lauren] Work.
How can a 100-hour work week
not compromise your relationship
with anything that's worthwhile?
[Lauren] As I went deeper
into my subjects' obsessions...
I was surprised they reflected my own.
And I remember when I photographed Shelly,
one of the anorexic girls in Thin.
She said work is your addiction.
Are you me?
Are you on a filming boycott?
[Lauren laughs]
Why do you think I have a problem?
[Gabriel] Hmm...
You're filming every second of our lives.
Do you-- do you think I'm a workaholic?
A workaholic?
Yeah, like...
and your mom is even more than you.
[Lauren] And do you think Noah is similar?
Yeah, Noah is a little Lauren, definitely.
Noah might be more intense than me.
-One, two, three.
Four, light and quick.
[Patricia] Where did the addiction to work
come from, do you think?
[Lauren] I think it came from you.
I think you're a way bigger workaholic
than I am.
No, you're a way bigger workaholic
than I am.
Yeah, how long is the longest
you've gone on a shoot?
I would say six weeks or two months.
I never went away that long. Never!
I don't know,
I had a lot more time with Dad.
-[Lauren] Did Dad kinda compensate?
-[Noah] Yeah.
[Lauren] It made Frank have that
very close connection...
which has sustained us since that time.
It allows me to travel and do the work.
I just kinda grew up
with you not really being around.
It sounds kinda bad,
but I think the damage is already done.
Are you okay?
[line ringing]
[automated voice]
Your call has been forwarded
to an automatic voice message system.
[Lauren] I haven't gotten to talk
to him yet. He called Frank and...
Noah just got a perfect score on his ACT.
-Hey, Noah, it's Mom.
Give me a call when you're out of class.
Okay, bye. Love you.
I think he's just happy.
He worked hard.
It's his achievement, you know?
He didn't even call me to tell me.
It's just, like, he's happy.
I've always thought that balance
was kind of overrated.
Oh, fuck!
I'm often chasing my own obsessions
with as much adrenaline as my subjects.
Even though I wasn't going
for tons of money or the perfect body...
I was always looking for more and more.
I'm gonna be pretty wide,
so, get behind me, let's see.
Let's see how this works.
Okay, look at me...
You can look up like that,
like you were a second ago. Yeah.
Look up again, like you just were.
[Cathy] I don't think
I'm meeting my fitness goals.
I would love to see this fixed.
I would love to...
see my thighs fixed.
My butt needs to be fixed.
[Lauren] I saw a similar addiction
among women with eating disorders.
[Chantelle] I would lose five pounds
and it still wasn't good enough.
And then I'd lose five more
and it still wasn't good enough.
[Mickie] The fame, it's such a rush.
You know, instant tweets
and instant posts, wow!
Every day I see dancers that are addicted
to the pole, to the pole money.
[Homm] Success becomes
its own perpetual vehicle.
You're part of this game
where the more, the better again.
And a billion is better than 100 million.
I was a hamster
in a diamond studded gold wheel.
[Tiffany] You sell your soul to the devil.
'Cause you get burned out so bad that
you just numb it...
where you don't feel the hand
on your ass anymore.
We detach and then
you put on the game again.
If not, it destroys you.
[Mikayla] There is this place that
is too far, and everyone ends up there.
When money is success,
it's impossible to not wanna keep going.
Why wouldn't you?
'Cause if a lot is good, more is better.
You are trapped in your own ambition.
[female newscaster]
Right now, breaking news here,
stocks all around the world
are tanking because...
[Homm] Capital,
like any other resource in excess,
will cause utter social
and economic havoc.
[Lauren] When the financial crash
of 2008 happened,
it felt like a global tsunami
of devastation.
There were eerily similar scenes
in all the places hardest hit,
which I followed.
And what about your house?
[man] We are in foreclosure.
[Lauren] And what's it like as a man,
as the breadwinner, to go through this?
You know, after trying so hard
to keep something you love so much.
And then they wanna come in and take it.
I was just... [crying softly]
I was just trying to make a home
for me and my daughter.
That's all I was trying to do.
[Lauren] When even
David and Jackie Siegel's dream home
ended up with a fetid pool
and facing foreclosure...
for me it was almost like a symbol
of our collective greed and its price.
[Homm] In my path to fairly
quick wealth, that made some enemies.
I would get a threat or a lawsuit, I said,
"Take a ticket, walk to position 134
in the line. Fuck off!"
There were allegations against me.
They basically said I've conspired
to defraud.
Our CIO, Florian Homm, resigned
unexpectedly in a rather dramatic way.
Florian Homm absconded to Colombia.
The SEC alleges that he defrauded
investors out of about $200 million.
I packed up a few things
and I found my way to Colombia.
Tell me about packing up a few things.
You know, the euro bills are so compact,
500 euros--
that's almost a 700-dollar bill.
And you can literally pack
half a million bucks on you
and you have these elastic bands,
which in your Calvin Klein underwear...
And you can stuff them there
and they really pad you
in your, well, genital area.
At the time I was very attached
to money still, literally.
Well, after five years on the lam,
Florian Homm finally nabbed.
He faces four counts of conspiracy,
wire fraud and security fraud.
American justice had me arrested in Italy.
I end up in Florence prison
in a cell of 20-square yards
with mentally deranged violent criminals.
I felt horrible...
completely abandoned.
I was completely estranged
from my children.
So, if the provider no longer provides,
what's his purpose?
What's my purpose?
As a kid who came from a rock star family,
who had every advantage,
I just kinda like--
I shouldn't even try.
I'm never gonna get here.
So, why try to get here,
because that's not good enough.
You know what I mean? I'm not a rock star.
I'm a bartender, I'm a server.
I'm a whatever job I had to,
you know, get by.
I had to numb just to be able
to deal with the mundane life.
I definitely didn't set out
to become addicted to, you know,
pretty hard opiates.
And for, like, two or three months,
I started smoking crack.
You know, I'd do any type of painkiller,
and those kinda make you feel
warm and fuzzy.
I used to say it was like the hug
I never got as a kid kinda thing.
"Legacy. Some days I wear legacy.
Like a weight, too big a burden to bear.
Like something that's just out of reach.
Legacy is how I run some days,
trying to keep up
with my family's achievements.
Legacy is my brother getting
a perfect ACT score, 36 out of 36.
And I remember crying that night
because I didn't know if I would be able
to get such a good score
and wondering if my parents
would still be proud of me.
Some days, legacy haunts me.
Like an idea that's stuck in your brain.
And no matter how much you try
and ignore it,
it never gets out of your head.
Legacy is my life."
[laughs] Very good!
That's great. Wow.
[Lauren] You wrote that today?
Yeah, I did.
How did you feel the pressure of legacy?
Because both my parents went to Harvard.
You're such a weirdo!
[Lauren giggles]
Dad, do you see this?
[Lauren] Why do you feel the pressure?
-[Frank] Why do you feel the pressure?
-I'm asking Noah.
Why do you feel the pressure of legacy?
I don't want Noah to feel
the pressure of legacy.
But why have you acted like someone
who's had enormous pressure
of legacy on you?
I had that too with my parents.
My parents went to Harvard too.
And do you think I was a happy child?
-Do you think you were a happy child?
-[Lauren] I don't know,
I remember a lot of anxieties
and insecurities.
-Really? What kind?
-[Lauren] Just...
I don't know, I think probably coming
from divorce and...
[Patricia] Mm-hmm.
[Lauren] You know, maybe your being away.
I don't know.
But I just always remember being anxious.
[Patricia] Hmm. Mm-hmm.
[Lauren] What do you remember?
Okay, let me actually go back.
When I had you, I had a PhD,
I was a graduate student in culture
and human development.
The women's movement was just starting.
[protesters chanting]
I suddenly realized that I was doing
all of the childcare.
My career was going down the tubes.
Your dad was just focusing on his career.
We decided to separate, and I knew
I wouldn't lose touch with you,
if I wasn't with you five days a week
and I was just with you on the weekends.
[Lauren] Let's just talk about the fact
that you got a job
in another city from Dad
and we lived with Dad.
He wanted to be physically close to you
most of the time
and in general, mothers don't need to
be close to their children geographically
to keep the attachment
and the relationship.
I understand years later
that you felt abandoned, but, you know,
and that's understandable
'cause we had been very close.
[Lauren] And did you come to visit us
every weekend?
[Patricia] No, you traveled to Santa Cruz
every weekend with Mathew on the plane.
[Lauren] Was that unusual at the time
for a five-year-old and a seven-year-old
to be traveling alone?
I had a very, very tortured relationship
with my mother.
My mother didn't work,
her priorities were different,
we always had tons of help
and people other than my mother
taking care of us,
even though she didn't work.
So you wanna be different than she was?
I think when you go through the journey
that I went through to become a mother,
you embrace every aspect of it.
Anytime I would tell her anything,
she would freak out, so,
I started having contractions
early in the morning
and I text her and I'm like,
"Don't panic, but..."
Of course, I panicked.
She came three-and-a-half months early.
I had left the labor delivery room
and I went out to the hallway
and was really kind of losing it.
The doctor came out and said, "You gotta
come right now, we're having a baby."
You know, I remember looking at him
and saying,
"Where did you go to medical school?"
And he told me where and I was like,
"That doesn't work for me."
To his credit, he looked at me and said,
"Lady, I'm all you got right now."
And then around 1:00, 2:00 in the morning,
our water burst.
It was over and, you know, they grab her.
I mean, she was the size of my hand.
And they grab her
and they put her on a table
and they put them in a plastic bag
and there was a team
of ten people around her,
so you can't even see what's going on.
And I just remember being...
absolutely terrified.
'Cause they prepare you for the worst.
I wanted her more than anything
in the world.
After the Charlie Sheen media blowout,
the-- the scandal...
I was constantly getting followed,
like a normal celebrity probably would.
I started feeling really bad.
[paparazzi clamoring]
[Kacey] This is like a lifestyle
that maybe I would've wanted
but the fame, it did more,
like, long-term damage to me
than I thought it could.
[man] Hey, you okay?
-I can't do it.
-[man] You can do it.
-Well, you're doing good so far.
-[man] You're doing good.
-[man] You're doing fine.
-[woman] You're doing good.
What's she doing?
Oh, she tries to kill herself.
This is alprazolam, aka Xanax.
This is Advil PM.
Let's watch me die.
-[sirens wailing in distance]
-I wanted to reinvent myself.
I needed surgery
just to make myself feel better.
I started off with my boobs.
I did three nose jobs.
Another reason for the bigger boobs
and the different me
was because the fetishes
were generally like me being underage.
It's rare for a grown adult like me,
a woman ,
to have a body of, like, a 14-year-old.
That was why it sold so much.
I've become this, like, new persona
that I've created, Daveney.
That was like my way
of kinda finally growing up.
Speaking of...
The morning sickness.
I'm actually pregnant now.
It's my 11th time.
But I think it's a good time,
so, I'm deciding to go through with it
and I just decided that on Sunday.
[laughs] Yeah.
[Cathy] Immediately after Brazil,
I was never comfortable financially.
I was just thinking,
how do I pick up normal life,
keep them in school
and find ways to pay off this debt?
[Lauren] And were you working full time
as a bus driver the whole time?
Yes, yes.
[Lauren] So, why didn't you have
enough money if you had a full-time job?
Because they don't pay!
Money, dollars, dinero is what it takes.
My parents supplemented some
of my monthly budget
and after I'd had the surgery...
I couldn't have asked them
to keep paying for how we live
when I went and got this thing,
which could seem to be a luxury.
And how long did you live in the car?
[Cathy] I can't even count how long.
You don't tally it along the way.
You will go crazy.
My mother had wanted custody.
She knew that I couldn't pay my rent
in 2008.
I never wanted to surrender my children,
but I didn't have enough money
to keep them.
I know that if I had gotten
my crap together with more money...
she wouldn't be dead.
She wasn't just a self-destructive girl.
She was a good child.
And sometimes I think,
"Oh, Jas wants to come visit"...
for a minute.
It's in my CD changer in the car.
Sometimes I'll forget or get distracted
and the CD will turn over
and I hear the 911 call.
[dispatcher] Fairfax County 911,
where is your emergency?
[man] My emergency-- my granddaughter,
she was drunk, I was taking her home.
She-- The car was going at about 30 miles
an hour and she jumped out the back seat.
She opened the door...
[Cathy] The same place I birthed her
was the same place I saw her die.
[steady beeping]
They had just removed the ventilator...
and I could sit with her.
I told her I'm sorry.
I apologized. I told her I was sorry
that I couldn't protect her more.
And I had to go on living.
[Homm] I remember a long time ago...
my wife and I,
we were in the most posh harbor
in the Balearic Islands
in the Mediterranean.
And there were plenty of boats,
30, 40, 50 million, some of them for sale.
And then we sat down for dinner.
I said, "This one? This one? This one?
Or this one?"
That woman said...
"Turn off your phone.
That's all I want. Nice dinner."
And it takes a long trip...
to come back...
to what matters.
The other stuff...
It's a delusion.
It's a-- it's a bullshit game.
All of us are following a toxic dream.
What you're sold
in this world is a bag of rotten goods.
[Hedges] At the end of a decayed culture,
we retreat
into our own comforting illusions.
[shutter clicks]
We build walls to cope
with the reality around us.
[audience cheering]
It's not about me.
It's about you, believe me.
[Lil Magic] People have a hard time
separating reality from entertainment,
because there is a line.
It's a thick line. It's not a thin one.
[Hedges] Corporate capitalism pushes
people towards this constant search
-for the next adrenaline rush.
-[dance music playing]
People seek that momentary ecstasy
to escape from a darker
and darker reality.
The population is diverted,
sexual hedonism predominates
throughout the society.
We are dying in the same way
that other empires
-have died throughout history.
The difference is that this time
when we go down,
the whole planet's gonna go with us.
Maybe I wanted to be in the big palace
where all the fancy people were.
But in the end when you see it,
it was just air.
In the boom,
I worked in the banking business.
And then it all collapsed in Iceland,
and I was sacked.
My boss said,
"You're not allowed to go back
to your desk. Thank you."
Now for me to go from the bank to the sea,
I have gone in a circle.
I start where I began.
The people go backwards to their roots...
the family, the children, friends.
-[boy] Oh!
-[Valbjrn chuckles]
That's the good thing about collapse.
[boy in Icelandic] Oh, my God.
[Valbjrn] You cut right there.
[boy] Disgusting!
[both speaking Icelandic]
[boy] I don't want to see this.
This is disgusting.
[Valbjrn] This is life.
I want to fish another fish.
[Valbjrn in English]
What I've learned is be more
with the people that you love.
That's the most valuable
that you can get in the world.
Lord, thank you for this day.
Thank you for everything you've given us.
Bless this food and bless this family
in Jesus' name. Amen.
[all] Amen.
[Lauren] When we talked in 1995,
you predicted you would be a millionaire.
I did, and you know what's so funny?
When we were gonna do this, I was like,
"You know what, I told her that
I was gonna have $20 million...
on-hand cash and another
$100 million in the bank."
[Lauren] So, did it happen?
No, not-- not at this moment.
I believe that the dream,
it's different now.
Success is showing my children
what a strong father looks like,
what a work ethic looks like.
He taught me that
just 'cause you have money
doesn't mean you're, like, all that.
A nice watch or a nice car
isn't gonna get you to college.
It's what you know, not what you have.
[Cliff] My daughter, she got a full-ride
scholarship to Cornell University.
She's a genius.
I have the big red Cornell sweater
right now. I wear it every day.
[chuckles] I wear it around the house.
I would love to see all of them
go to college.
That's the true American dream.
[Courtney] I wanted to come back home to
Oregon so I can make amends with my family
and go through with the pregnancy,
but I lost the child.
You know, it's really hard
to kind of bounce back from that.
This whole year I've definitely felt
myself wanting to stop and change--
change the career path.
I work at Tan Republic,
-which is the job that I had at 14.
It's very difficult going back
to minimum wage
from what I've made
these past eight, nine years.
There was a couple overdoses
and I had over a million dollars
in medical bills.
I declared bankruptcy
just to start over fresh.
Now anything porn or complete nudity,
I'm completely retired from that.
I really wanted to be me again.
I thought maybe Courtney was lost
amongst all the previous scandals
and my films.
And I feel like finally once again...
I can really, really start off with
being Courtney again.
On any journey, you sometimes
have to go back and find your roots,
and that's kind of what we've done
in the last two years.
-It was time to take a break.
-[dog barking]
We aren't, like,
doing that reality TV show, we're just...
being normal right now.
[Mickie] Eden had been a winner
at everything she's ever done
and I feel like the door just went...
It was a new scenario because
up until that point, it had been just...
You've got this child
that is extremely talented...
but you're so hungry for it,
you're blinded by that proverbial carrot
that's dangled out there.
You're just a commodity.
It's what the American people want to see.
They get off work, they wanna turn
that clicker on and, you know:
"Oh, ooh, ah," you know, whatever.
I didn't like who I had become.
I didn't like that other people
had been able to accomplish ugly things
through me in Eden's life.
I mean, major mistakes.
Would I do it all again? I think I would.
I think I would. I--
I really don't even have to think about it
because I wouldn't have had the awakening
and the knowledge any other way.
[Homm] I was imprisoned for 15 months
without a trial.
And they let me go.
He was the luckiest man in the world.
He avoided getting extradited
and facing a 225-year criminal sentence.
[Homm] They put me on a list,
with the likes of Osama bin Laden.
It was a global arrest warrant.
But I'm completely legally here in Germany
and I cannot be extradited
by the Americans.
So, I'm living in a very big,
beautiful prison called Germany.
If you think that money
will buy you anything and everything...
you have never, ever, ever had money.
Because I can't buy that smile
on my daughter's or my son's face
and I can't buy the love in bed
of my wife.
I can't.
[Lauren] You think he learned a lesson
from being in jail?
I feel like a lot of his regrets
are that he kept pushing it
to the point where he fell,
and he just wishes that he had not fallen.
Yeah, I'm still a little--
I'm still not sure how I feel about
everything regarding my father.
Three days after the birth, I went home.
Suzanne was there for almost two months.
She was very tiny.
She did really well though.
[Suzanne] I got the prize.
You know, she's here and she's happy
and healthy and smiling and, you know,
a terrific little kid and I...
So, it doesn't matter anymore
how I got here. I'm here.
That experience changed me
so dramatically.
But my ex-husband left six weeks after
I brought her home from the hospital.
I mean, he's now with somebody
40 years younger than he is.
You know, I-- I don't know how you can
be 70, married to a 30-year-old.
No, that's backwards.
You gotta put it forwards.
Remember, move the lever.
-All right, now try.
-Watch out, guys.
I think she knows not to touch the art.
Wait, stop!
-[Lauren] Have your priorities changed?
-[Suzanne] Yeah, there's no question.
All right, off we go.
How I spend money, right?
A lot less art, a lot more ballet.
Or piano or...
front-row tickets
to the Gazillion Bubbles Show.
I am not working as hard
as I have over the years.
You know, I take Sydney B. to school
every day. I pick her up.
In fact,
the activities I don't take her to
is just where there's no value added
to me being there.
[Lauren] And how are your priorities
different than your mother's?
I don't know that I can answer
that question.
The last real contact I had
with my mother, I was...
22 years old.
So, even if I knew,
I don't think I would know.
I mean, what do you know at 22?
[Lauren] And did you resolve with her
before she passed away?
-I'm feeding you, Mommy.
[Lauren] Do you have any regrets
about how you raised your children?
[chuckles] About how I raised my children?
That's a really hard question.
I wish I had known
you felt abandoned sooner,
'cause I think that we could've
talked about it, opened--
opened up that conversation
and it would've...
it would've improved
our relationship earlier.
So, you didn't have that...
sort of inside you all the time.
[Lauren] Thanks, Mom.
Better than doing it at my funeral.
[both laugh]
[Mijanou] Conscious parenting is about
realizing how your kids are teachers.
They're like mirrors, and a lot of times
they're here to spark things up,
you know, within you that you need to heal
or you need to work on.
I feel protective over her.
She's so beautiful and I don't want her
to have to go through,
like, what I had to go through.
I think about that time
and how even I used to dress
and now I'm like, "Oh, my God!"
I would never, you know,
want Sahia to go out like that.
She doesn't watch TV.
We don't have a TV in the house.
Cutting that out and just
having her reality be what she sees
from her mom or dad or grandparents,
it's been amazing.
I didn't get what I needed as a kid.
I'm not mad about it anymore.
I've done a lot of work to get where I am.
This is just the hand I was dealt.
And really I just wanna use that as ammo
to be a good parent.
Whatever causes good self-esteem,
it's probably love,
it's probably nurturing,
it's probably just being there
and letting her know
that she's perfect the way she is.
You are my favorite girl.
Giving her that feeling is my goal.
Little boo-boo. Hello!
I miss having one like this.
Bah, bah, bah.
Talk to Dad. Talk to Dad.
What do you want? What does he want?
[Frank] So, later on we can just dump this
onto the computer?
Oh, yeah. So, Gloria, you're gonna change
the taxi to 4:00 a.m.
Okay. You know we're leaving at 4:00 a.m.
Did you know I was going away?
-Just for a week.
-Bye, sweetheart.
-Bye, Mommy.
-I love you.
-Love you too.
-Have a good trip.
-Be good.
I will.
[phone ringing]
-[Noah] Hey, Mom.
-Hey, sweetheart.
I think your French
is getting better than mine.
It was really well-written.
-Let me just look at it one more time.
I found a mistake.
You have... [speaks French]
And then you have... [speaks French]
All right, well, you probably have
a lot of work. I'll let you go.
You want to see Manila?
Here, I'll just show you out the window.
-Can you see?
-Yeah, I can see.
It's very blurry.
-You see the streets a little bit?
-Yeah, it reminds me of China.
Looks good.
Nice job! Beautiful!
[Hedges] Global capitalism has done a very
effective job of destroying culture.
That inability to hear the voices
of the past,
to understand traditions,
makes it much harder for us to grasp
who we are and where we came from.
Authentic culture holds up other values.
Forces us to be self-critical,
to look at ourselves.
[Lauren] So this project,
it goes back for me 25 years.
Can you imagine
where you'll be in 25 years?
Could you imagine where
you would be 25 years ago?
-[Lauren] No.
-Yeah, I don't think I could either.
Except for dreaming of you and Gabriel.
[indistinct chatter]
So this is our 30-year anniversary.
I wanna make a toast to Frank...
the love of my life, who I can't imagine
or remember a life without
and sometimes don't even know
where you end and I begin.
For me and the kids,
Dad is the secret sauce
that makes everything possible,
who pushes us relentlessly
to make our dreams come true.
-[Frank] I'm filming the whole thing.
-Really? Oh.
[Frank] Keep going.
The proud papa!
[Sheldon] I'm always surprised
by the good things that you do.
But it's-- it's at an extraordinary price
and effort.
You're determined to spend time
with family and make sure that happens...
but you're all over the place.
I realize there's no perfect balance.
Nobody has it.
But sometimes I think
you're pushing a little bit too hard...
for the long run, not for the short run.
The work you're doing this time
fascinates me more
than any other work 'cause...
it's kind of like everything about wealth,
like, 25 years of wealth.
Like, the good stuff, the bad stuff,
the poor people, the rich people,
the happy people, the sad people, like--
I think that's cool.
-[Lauren] Thanks, Noah.
It's dedicated to you and Noah.
You've come a long way.
-[Lauren] Okay, go for it.
-Okay, hold on. All right, this way.
It's kind of ironic that I've chosen
to raise my kids in the exact same world
that I grew up in.
Same neighborhood,
same school, same pressures.
And even though I can deconstruct
the culture in my work,
I'm still susceptible to its influence.
It's just who I am.
It's not like I can really stop.
I am in constant motion,
and I live with the consequences.
But it's also one of the things I love,
that gives my life meaning.
Not much has changed.
-[Paris] Rock star, right there.
-[Lauren laughs]
Just passing a joint around, you know?
Oh... Versace. Wow.
Oh, my God! It's me.
And this is my very first interview
I ever did. very first interview I ever did.
[Cliff] Yeah, that was my life back then.
The thoughts of a child, really.
Really, yeah.
That's deep.
"When I was leaving Kansas City,
I told my mom,
'One day you are going to see me walk
a red carpet.'
I have lived on private jets,
Cristal flowing nights,
and I have partied with rock stars
and celebrities and actors.
But you know what they say--
"Be careful what you wish for."