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Betting on Zero (2016)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 17 March 2017 (USA)
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Writer/director Ted Braun follows controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts a billion dollars on the line in his crusade to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history.

Director:

Ted Braun

Writer:

Ted Braun (as Theodore Braun)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Ackman ... Self - CEO, Pershing Square Capital Management (as Bill Ackman)
Douglas M. Brooks Douglas M. Brooks ... Self - Attorney
William Cohan William Cohan ... Self - Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair (as William D. Cohan)
Julie Contreras Julie Contreras ... Self - Activist
Erin Criss Erin Criss ... Self - Former Herbalife distributor
Robert Fitzpatrick Robert Fitzpatrick ... Self - President, Pyramid Scheme Alert (as Robert FitzPatrick)
William Keep William Keep ... Self - Prof. of Business, College of New Jersey
Zak Kirby Zak Kirby ... Self
Christine Richard Christine Richard ... Self - Financial researcher
Julio Ulloa Julio Ulloa ... Self
Miguel Calderon Miguel Calderon ... Self
Jose G. Garcia Jose G. Garcia ... Self
Emma Lozano Emma Lozano ... Self (as Pastor Emma Lozano)
Martil Palama Martil Palama ... Self
Jay Reyes Jay Reyes ... Self - Attorney
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Storyline

Writer/director Ted Braun follows controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts a billion dollars on the line in his crusade to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history.

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writer | See All (1) »

Taglines:

The Ultimate Shakedown

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

 
Should Have Focused on Herbalife's Victims, Not Ackman
30 June 2018 | by tylerwoodrownicholsSee all my reviews

I've been interested in multi-level marketing (MLM), AKA legal pyramid schemes, for a while now, so when I heard about this film I knew I needed to watch it. There's a lot to like about it, but there's also a lot to hate. I would have loved for it to focus more on Herbalife itself and its victims. There's a decent amount of information about Herbalife (which is nothing but despicable) and a kind of sub-plot about a group of Latino immigrants who are trying to sue the company for taking advantage of their community. There would probably be more than enough going on there to make for a decent documentary, but instead it focuses too much on the stereotypical "wolf of Wall Street" opportunist (oh wait, my mistake,"activist investor") Bill Ackman and his bid to get rich(er) off of ruining Herbalife's stock. It's clear to me that he's just a sociopath himself who doesn't really care about Herbalife's victims at all, but just sees a situation to exploit for his own financial gain. On one level, I get it. It makes for a very juicy story and everybody wants a "hero" to root for. However, I would rather that hero to have been the actual underdog here, Herbalife's victims. I do think that there is a valuable lesson in the childish quibble between Ackman and his nemesis, fellow Wall Street scum Carl Icahn, about why using the stock market as an indicator of how the economy is doing is basically meaningless for the average person: in reality it's little more than a playground for the ultra-rich, men who are so out of touch with reality or basic human empathy that they put their own egos (oh, and money, did I mention money?) above everything else. It's well-made and will surely keep you entertained, but ultimately it feels hollow and left me hoping for a better documentary about MLM itself, not ego-measuring contests between reprehensible "activist investors".


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Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Braun/Zipper Project See more »

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Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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