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Master of the Universe

Marc Bauder
Germany, Austria, 2013
Production : Bauderfilms
English, French


In an abandoned bank in Frankfurt’s business district, fifty-something Rainer Voss reveals the mechanisms and what goes on behind closed doors in the world of finance. This man who’s spent his life working for German investment banks describes its universe. Voss looks back at its rapid rise in the 1990s, the ultra-liberalisation, deregulation and the financial tools that enable some people to feel extremely powerful. He evokes bankers’ disconnection from the real world as they handle millions of euros and the way in which companies wear down their employees with, for example, endless long nights at their workstations.

Prix de la Semaine de la critique Locarno 2013

Tënk's film review

Have you ever wondered how investment bankers can sleep at night since the financial crash that left millions without a home, earnings or decent prospects for the future? Director Marc Bauder meets a finance industry insider who gives us reveals his personal insight into the world of big money, from all its dark abysses and lack of scruples to its quasi-religious rules. While walking through an abandoned bank in Frankfurt, he paints the image of a parallel universe in which maximising profits is the only goal, and the effects of one's actions on the rest of the world are barely considered. The empty building resembles the ruins of a cathedral to capitalism. Each confession adds fuel to the accusations of those who have long since hit the streets to protest against the ideology of constant growth.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Curator, author and film educator

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Marc Bauder

Marc Bauder was born in 1974, in Stuttgart, Germany. He initially studied business administration in Cologne, St. Gallen and New York City, and later at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg. In 1999, he founded his own production company and made documentaries such as "Grow or Go" and "Everyone keeps quiet about something else" (Berlinale 2006). His award-winning feature film debut "DAS SYSTEM" (The System) followed in 2011. His documentary film "MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE" won the European Film Prize and the German Documentary Award, among others. Together with his brother, he co-developed the LICHTGRENZE (Border of Lights) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2014. His feature film "DEAD MAN WORKING" won the Grimme Award in 2017.

Other films in the collection: Silver Screen