Dirty Money Season 2 Review: It's A Rich Man's World
A compelling exposé of rich and corrupt empires, Dirty Money has a refreshingly honest perspective
Midway through an episode in the second season of Dirty Money, available on Netflix since 11 March, The New Yorker magazine writer Rachel Aviv describes a US scheme in which court-appointed guardians look after the elderly, including their finances, as “based on this idea of benevolent paternalism and yet, in practice, it often seemed to create this kind of capitalist dystopia.” And how’s this for dystopic: In India, the top one per cent account for 56.1 per cent of the national income and over 70 per cent of the country’s wealth.
The first season of Dirty Money (2018) was compelling because it was so angry. In the first episode, Alex Gibney, the Oscar-winning documentaryfilmmaker and an executive producer of the series, buys a Volkswagen (VW). “I was furious”, he tells the viewer, “VW ... had pitched me a vision ofmy dream car, but sold me my worst nightmare. A car that was polluting 50 times more than advertised.” At least, VW paid billions in fines and its executives were jailed. Donald Trump, a shameless mountebank, according to the episode that closed the first season, became US President. In season two, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is exposed as a slumlord who steals from the poor, while jumping into bed with Russian oligarchs and Gulf royals.
Dirty Money has an agenda. Better an honest perspective, though, than the sanctimonious ‘neutrality’ of, say, the Indian media. How can you not be angry, the series contends, when education, healthcare and food-for-all is ‘impossible’ only because of the extreme greed of a tiny fraction and a system built to foster and protect that greed?