Born Rich

Director: Jamie Johnson

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


In struggling to understand what it means to come into an enormous fortune as one of the heirs of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire, 20-year old director Jaime Johnson picks up his camera to talk to 10 of his friends and gives us this remarkable personal documentary about one of the smallest and least-likely-to-agree-to-be-interviewed minorities on the planet: children of the vastly rich. Born Rich offers unprecedented access to the lives of kids who have names synonymous with wealth—Bloomberg, SI Newhouse, Trump, Whitney—and allows them to discuss the one subject everybody in the world knows it's not polite to talk about in public: money.

Through intimate interviews and vérité footage, Johnson's camera captures truths that forge an honest and revealing portrait of this small and protected group of people as they talk candidly about an upbringing made more complicated by people's conflicting ideas about wealth, their relationship to their inheritance, their plans for their fortunes, and their pervading anxiety over being "cut off." Fascinating and groundbreaking, Born Rich is ultimately a raw and warmhearted rumination on the responsibility of possessing vast resources which effectively demystifies the notion that wealth brings knowledge and the capability to accomplish anything.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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