How to Steal a Country
"It's the Economy, Stupid!" • 1h 33m
Directed by Rehad Desai, co-directed by Mark Kaplan • Documentary • 2020 • 87 minutes
HOW TO STEAL A COUNTRY opens like a classic thriller, with investigative journalists meeting anonymous whistleblowers in a parking garage. There, they receive a hard drive filled with hundreds of thousands of explosive files and emails implicating Jacob Zuma’s South African government in a massive corruption scandal.
Director Rehad Desai (Everything Must Fall, Miners Shot Down) chronicles how the three Gupta brothers, once small-scale peddlers, cultivated relationships with Zuma and other ANC figures, and parlayed them into massive profits. The brothers were involved in everything from a US$100 billion nuclear deal with Russia, to graft at the state-owned railway and power companies. Tens of millions were stolen from money earmarked for rural development and funneled into a lavish Gupta family wedding. Journalists investigating this corruption were targets of a disinformation campaign accusing them of being neo-colonialists supporting white monopoly power.
Eventually, the journalists are vindicated, and a state inquiry is called into “state capture”—a massive corruption scheme involving the Guptas, Zuma and his government, and international finance and consulting firms.
HOW TO STEAL A COUNTRY serves as a warning on how multinational companies and ruthless entrepreneurs can co-opt democracies for their own profit.
Up Next in "It's the Economy, Stupid!"
Directed by Arto Koskinen • Documentary • 2017 • 60 minutes
Once upon a time there was a large Finnish company that manufactured the world’s best and most innovative mobile phones. This film tells the rise and fall of Nokia and the Finnish mobile phone industry from grassroots, the point of view...
Art and Oligarchs
Directed by Tania Rakhmanova • Documentary • 2010 • 52 minutes
A popular trend among Russian oligarchs is to purchase works of art. Why? It's a way to get into the Kremlin's good graces, to gild their image...and to cover up the origin of their fortunes, often acquired in the shadow of post-Sovi...
Directed by Christophe Barratier • Drama • With Arthur Dupont, François-Xavier Demaison, Sabrina Ouazani • 2018 • 117 minutes
Before the subprime mortgage crisis began unfolding in 2008, causing chaos in world markets and misery among millions of homeowners, another financial apocalypse was alre...