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WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn Review | SXSW2021

WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn is a fascinating and frustrating exploration of greed, arrogance, and abuse of power.

The story of WeWork is the story of Adam Neumann. A fast talking, passionate con artist that managed to build one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist investments in recent year, and managed to crash it all in the blink of an eye.

Adam had more than charisma. He had a disarming hippie-messianic approach that came across as loving and optimistic and disguised his delusions of grandeur as a desire for community. For those unfamiliar with WeWork, this documentary beautifully highlights his, his company’s, and his team’s journey from living the dream to wanting to wake from a nightmare.

The team behind this film managed to edit this in such a way that it keeps you engaged and entertained throughout– in case the insane story wasn’t enough to do it. There is an art to storytelling and the best documentaries know how to use that art to navigate its audience through a journey while throwing tons of information at them. It’s a real treat when done right. This is done right.

Funny, scary, sad, unbelievable, & frustrating. Early on, you get the sense that you will be going on a journey and that you will be better for sitting through it. A story too insane to believe but too painful to not. Raw and startling interviews that make you wonder how this happens and how people get away with it.

I promise you this, at the end there is a reveal that makes you question everything you know about justice, business, and moral responsibility. Spoiler warning: it isn’t a happy ending and that fact will frustrate you to no end.

So watch, enjoy, and get angry…

8/10

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By Raul Navedo

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