Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream

Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream

  • BY Alex Gibney | IN Social Justice
    Premiered November 12, 2012

About the Film

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. Gibney contends that America’s richest citizens have “rigged the game in their favor,” and created unprecedented inequality in the United States. MORE

Nowhere, Gibney asserts, is this more evident than on Park Avenue in New York. 740 Park in Manhattan is currently home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the country. Across the river, less than five miles away, Park Avenue runs through the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the United States.

In Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream,Gibney states that while income disparity has always existed in the U.S., it has accelerated sharply over the last 40 years. As of 2010, the 400 richest Americans controlled more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the populace — 150 million people. In the film, Gibney explains why he believes upward mobility is increasingly out of reach for the poor.

Interview Transcripts

The following are the complete transcripts for the interviews conducted by the filmmakers of Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream.

The Filmmaker

Alex Gibney

Alex Gibney directed the 2008 Academy Award-winning film Taxi to the Dark Side and the 2006 Oscar-nominated film Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Other credits as director include Magnolia Pictures’s releases Casino Jack and the United States of Money and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Gibney was the executive producer of the Oscar-nominated No End in Sight, consulting producer on Who Killed the Electric Car?, and producer of Herbie Hancock: Possibilities.


Film Credits

Directed by
Alex Gibney

Written by
Alex Gibney
Chad Beck
Adam Bolt

Produced by
Blair Foster

Edited by
Chad Beck, A.C.E.
Adam Bolt

Executive Producer
Josh Norton

Ronan Killeen
Lisa Rinzler

Original Music by
Peter Nashel

Inspired by the book
740 Park: The Story of the World's
Richest Apartment Building

by Michael Gross

Associate Producer
Trevor Davidoski

Associate Editor
Erin Barnett

Michael Gross

Production Assistant
Cara Mones

Assistants to Alex Gibney
Jacqui Lewis
Grace Fardella

Doug Dunderdale
Jeff Faber
Rick Fatke
David Hocs
Steve Kashuk
Joe McCartan
Jonathan Packer

Additional Photography
Maryse Alberti
Jon Else
Darren Lew
Jason Mason
Lucian Read
Antonio Rossi

Assistant Camera
Trevor Davidoski
Matthew Henderson
Clare Major
Jason Mason
Anthony Rosario

Music Clearance Supervisor
John McCullough

Post Production Supervisor
Brett Banks

DI Colorist
Jack Lewars

Supervising DI Conform Editor
Benjamin Murray

DI Conform Editor
Ryan McMahon

Assistant DI Conform Editor
Allie Ames

Project Manager
Debra Lilavois

Re-recording Mixer
Ryan M. Price

Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer
Nicholas Renbeck

Dialogue Editors
Lidia Tamplenizza
Alexa Zimmerman

Assistant Re-recording Mixer
Dan Timmons

Audio Post Coordinator
Samara Levenstein

Production Accountant
Barbara Karen

E&O Counsel
F. Robert Stein, Esq.

Production Counsel
Jackie Eckhouse, Esq.

Production Insurance
DeWitt Stern

Assistant Editors
Sam Powell
Joe Fenstermaker

Additional Research
Javier Botero

Set Production Assistants
Laura Hartrick
Tory Jeffay
Rachel Laviola
Jacqui Lewis
Alex Morelli
Jacob Stock

Field Coordinator for San Francisco
Patrick Kollman

Jenn Kim
Rishi Linley
David Rahtz
Ophelia Snyder
Kate Twomey
Carlos Valdivia

Archival Footage and Photos
AP Archives
Associated Press
Bloomberg News
The Conus Archive
Robert Dean
FILM Archives, Inc.
Getty Images
Globe Photos
Historic Films
Maury Knuston
Catherine Ledner
©Patrick McMullan
NBC Universal Archives
N.Y. Daily News
Paul Piff
Laif/Redux, REA/Redux, The New York Times/Redux
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Tauber
David Veksler

Stephen A. Schwarzman, lecture
in Robert Shiller, Financial Markets (2008),
Courtesy of Yale University: Open Yale Courses.


“Big Spender”
Written by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields
Published by Lida Enterprises/Notable Music Co/Co BMG Gold Songs
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records

“Back to the Apple”
Written by Count William Basie and Foster Frank
Published by EMI Full Keel Music
Performed by Count Basie and his Orchestra
Courtesy of EMI Records

Special Thanks
Bryan Kennedy
John Nichols
George Rossi

Commissioning Editors for Why Poverty?
Claire Aguilar – ITVS
Barbara Truyen – VPRO
Axel Arnö – SVT
Tomoko Okutsu - NHK
Martin Pieper - ZDF/Arte

DR International Sales
Kim Christiansen

For Steps International

Brian Tilley

Post-production Manager
Linda Titus

Executive Producers
Don Edkins
Nick Fraser
Mette Hoffmann Meyer

Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer

Production assistance provided by
ABC, BNT, Canal Futura, Canal 22, CT, CyBC,
Doordarshan, EUROVISION, ERR, ERT,, HRT, Human,
IBA, IKON, Knowledge Network, MBC, ORF, PTS, RAI, RTHK,
RTVS, RUV, Tempo TV, Television America Latina,
TV3 Catalunya, TVO, and TVP.

Funding was provided by
The Bertha Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Ford Foundation

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream is a co-production of
Democracy Pictures LLC, Steps International, BBC, DR, ZDF/Arte, Arte G.E.I.E.,
NHK, NRK, SVT, VPRO, YLE, The Open University, and ITVS International.

This program was produced by Democracy Pictures LLC and Steps International
who are solely responsible for its content.

© 2012 Democracy Pictures LLC and Steps International. All rights reserved.

Is the idea of getting ahead by working hard now an anachronism in the United States? Are you, or do you expect to be, better off than your parents or grandparents? Is the middle class endangered? Share your thoughts and stories.


  • 2012 George Foster Peabody Award
    Award Winner


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Is the idea of getting ahead by working hard now an anachronism in the United States? Are you, or do you expect to be, better off than your parents or grandparents? Is the middle class endangered? Share your thoughts and stories.