Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream

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Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream
Park Avenue Alex Gibney Poster.jpg
Directed by Alex Gibney
Produced by Blair Foster
Written by Alex Gibney
Chad Beck
Adam Bolt
Starring Jack Abramoff
Michele Bachmann
Narrated by Alex Gibney
Cinematography Ronan Killeen
Lisa Rinzler
Edited by Erin Barnett
Chad Beck
Adam Bolt
Distributed by PBS
Release date
  • 12 November 2012 (2012-11-12) (Television)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream is a 2012 documentary about the wealth gap in the United States directed by Alex Gibney.


The documentary compares the access to opportunities of residents of Park Avenue both on the Upper East Side and in the South Bronx.[1][2][3] It draws upon Michael Gross's book "740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building", which showed that many billionaires live in that building.[1] It goes on to explain that billionaire heir David Koch made significant donations to Paul Ryan in the same way that banker Steven Schwartzman lobbied Charles Schumer—for their own gain.[1] The documentary includes interviews with a doorman at 740 Park Avenue, journalist Jane Mayer, Yale University Professor Jacob Hacker, University of California, Berkeley Professor Paul Piff, and Republican advisor Bruce Bartlett.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing it for The New York Times, Neil Genzlinger deplored the fact that the documentary equated great wealth with "callousness," adding that many wealthy people are very generous with their resources.[1] In The Daily Telegraph, Neil Midgley compared it to Michael Moore's documentaries.[2] He went on to suggest that it was "not entirely unconvincing," calling it "demagoguery."[2] He concluded that it was "a poor contribution."[2] Writing for The New York Observer, Kim Velsey suggested, "the documentary unfurls like a crime story."[3] She concluded that the documentary "makes a compelling case that inequality imperils democracy and that the victims of the inequality include not only those who find themselves in the rapidly expanding underclass, but the American dream itself."[3] The film was the subject of a WNET scheduling controversy in 2012.


  1. ^ a b c d Neil Genzlinger, Park Avenue’s Well-to-Do: How They Stay That Way, The New York Times, November 11, 2012
  2. ^ a b c d Neil Midgley, Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, BBC Four, review, The Daily Telegraph, November 28, 2012
  3. ^ a b c d Kim Velsey, Money and Manipulation: Documentary Takes On the Super-rich Residents of 740 Park, The New York Observer, November 26, 2012

External links[edit]