Cleveland vs. Wall Street

Cleveland contre Wall Street
Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron

France, Switzerland, Documentary, 2010, 98 min
“Cleveland vs. Wall Street” is a film that recreates a fictional trial against bankers blamed for the crisis of 2007–2010. On 11th January 2008, hired by the City of Cleveland, lawyer Josh Cohen and his team filed a lawsuit against 21 banks that they held accountable for the wave of foreclosures that had left their city in ruins. Since then, the bankers on Wall Street have been fighting with all available means to avoid going to court. This film is the story of the trial, which may never be held but in which the facts, the participants and their testimonies are all real: the judge, lawyers, witnesses - even the members of the jury, asked to give their verdict – play their own roles. Step by step, one witness after another, the film takes apart, from a plain, human perspective, the mechanisms of subprime mortgage loans, a system that sent the world economy reeling. A trial for the sake of example, a universal fable about capitalism.


2010 – One Future Prize - Honourable Mention at the Munich Film Festival (Germany).
2010 – Audience Award at the Paris Cinema Festival (France).
2011 – The National Swiss Film Prize for the Best Documentary (Switzerland).

About the director:

Jean-Stéphane Bron was born in 1969 in Lausanne, Switzerland. He graduated from the High School of Fine and Applied Arts of Lausanne (ECAL). After “Known to Our Departments” (Connu de nos services, 1997) and “A good driving – five stories from driving schools” (La bonne conduite – Cinq histoires d'auto-école, 2000), he directed his first theatrical release “Corn in Parliament” (Mais im Bundeshuus: le génie helvétique, 2003), which is among the biggest hits in Swiss cinema. His documentary films have been awarded various distinctions in Europe and the United States.
Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: Jean-Stéphane Bron

Dir. of Photography: Julien Hirsch