A political thriller by Marcus Vetter
In times of unfettered populism and growing mistrust towards the elite, we follow Klaus Schwab, the 81-year-old founder of the controversial World Economic Forum, over the course of one year. We accompany him as he works to carry out his mission: to improve the state of the world.
Since 1971, Schwab has been bringing together the leading figures from international business, politics, science and civil society in the small Swiss mountain village of Davos - firmly convinced that the world´s problems must be solved through dialogue.
The film follows Klaus Schwab over a one-year period when the world seems to be falling apart: climate crisis, Brexit, Yellow-Vest protests on the streets of France, the burning Amazon rainforest and the trade war between the USA and China. But not only are a new swathe of populist leaders like Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, challenging the establishment... a younger rebellious generation, led by climate activist Greta Thunberg, are making their presence felt.
Marcus Vetter is one of the most well-known and renowned German documentary filmmakers. He has won many awards such as the German Film Prize and several Grimme Awards for films such as THE HEART OF JENIN and THE TUNNEL. With THE FORUM he achieved a special coup: For the first time in the 50-year history of the World Economic Forum, an independent camera crew was able to shoot behind the scenes of the huge event. In the best HOUSE OF CARDS style, we witness how diplomacy plays out when the most powerful people in the world meet behind closed doors.
We are there when Trump, Bolsonaro and other heads of state engage in bilateral talks with business leaders, when diplomatic conflicts unfold in the corridors of the Congress Center in Davos, or when CEOs of the world´s largest corporations learn about topics such as Artificial Intelligence or Blockchain.
Meanwhile, we accompany senior employees of Klaus Schwab while they carry out the WEF’s projects on the ground. For example, in Indonesia, where they are attempting to prevent the deforestation of the rainforest through sustainable palm oil projects, or in Rwanda, where drones are being used to supply hospitals with blood reserves.
Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International and declared critic of the World Economic Forum, uses the exclusive meetings in Davos to raise awareness of the urgent need for climate protection amongst politicians and business leaders. She also brings climate activist Greta Thunberg to the annual meeting and provides her with a platform to confront the most powerful people in the world.
Can Klaus Schwab´s vision for the Forum really contribute to solving global problems? Or does it actually worsen the issue by promoting the self-interest of a global elite?