WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn launches first at SXSW before later going into homes by way of Hulu.
By the end of the year, this film will have one of the longest titles. I’m sorry but this film isn’t really SEO friendly. Now all of this aside, the film’s main subject only appears in archival footage. That’s right–neither Adam Neumann or Rebekah Neumann decided to participate in the film. Maybe they’ll issue a press statement after watching on Hulu? Regardless, that’s a shame. I feel like most people that refuse to talk usually have something to hide. Getting them on the record would certainly make this a stronger film.
The idea of WeWork as a company sounds like a nice idea. I’m not so much talking about all the nitty gritty behind the scenes but the office environment in general. And yet, this company completely exploded on itself. Maybe this was because of how many office locations they decided to invest in? Or maybe you’ll learn what really led to Adam Neumann’s downfall by watching the documentary! Jed Rothstein interviews a number of people to get into what was going on behind the scenes. Having high ranking former employees and WeWork members going on the record helps make up for the lack of the Neumanns.
In the interest of full disclosure, I took on a contract job located in a WeWork building in 2017. This film focuses less on the culture within the offices themselves. Honestly, this is the real tragedy of the documentary. I’m not much of an alcohol drinker but it’s very weird working in a building with free booze. Think about all of the alcoholics who might be struggling to stay sober. That’s not exactly the type of environment you want to be working in, Free candy? That’s not an issue unless you’re not a fan of sugar highs. I mean, there were several days where you could eat whatever food was brought in for lunch of you wanted to. But on a serious note, I had to handle a number of press calls during my last full week working in their Chicago building.
Jed Rothstein has seen his films previously make appearances at Sundance and Toronto. This film marks the first SXSW appearance for the Oscar-nominated filmmaker. It’s a solid SXSW debut but it’s just short of being spectacular.
WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn lives and dies on the strength of its interview subjects.
DIRECTOR: Jed Rothstein