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Parents' Guide to

Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Financial fraud docu has greed, perseverance, some language.

Movie NR 2022 92 minutes
Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard movie poster

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It's notoriously difficult to make the worlds of financial trading and tech cinematic. However, Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard, a documentary about the Financial Times newspaper's investigation into disgraced German payment company Wirecard, does its best to tell its story in a lively and engaging fashion. Based on a book by FT journalist Dan McCrum -- a likable and energetic investigative journalist -- it details how and why he became interested in the Wirecard case, flanked by a variety of players from the world of the media and finance.

There are no real surprises about the reasons that caused Wirecard's fall from grace -- a mix of greed and face-saving quickly spirals out of control. Likewise, the way in which McCrum and other journalists are bullied, slandered and, in some cases, attempted to be bribed to stop looking into Wirecard's dealings, is another depressing reminder of how so many big businesses who present themselves as respectable are not above some underhand practices. Especially if it helps them protect their profit margins and reputation. As often with true-crime documentaries, there are a few frustrating loose ends, and with some legal cases ongoing the last chapter in this story is not yet written. Still, this documentary is a brisk and insightful overview, for anyone who doesn't know the case.

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