Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  96 minutes
Date:  2018
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English; German; Portuguese / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
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System Error

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Examines the fundamentals of capitalism, and the pathological fantasy of infinite growth on a finite planet.

System Error

Politicians, economists and the media are obsessed with economic growth. But why do we still cling to this concept? Clearly it is impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet.

This investigative documentary seeks to educate audiences about the term "growth", particularly in the world of economics. It seems today's society and financial markets are dictated by an ever-present need to grow. This film uncovers what this means and how it has developed through history. It looks at how and why it stopped during the Great Depression and the growing importance it took on in the '70s and '80s. We also see how growth looks in various industries, such as in the world of agriculture, manufacturing and on Wall Street. Capitalism is explored, as well as the ways in which financial markets determine — perhaps more than governments — the functioning of societies and countries. Finally, SYSTEM ERROR looks at the economic crash of 2008, its origins and its effects on the way we view growth. Is there a limit to this growth, especially now that technology is developing?

In SYSTEM ERROR award-winning director Florian Opitz (“Speed, In Search of Lost Time” and “The Big Sellout”) examines the fundamentals of capitalism. He reveals unexpected correlations and lays bare the pathological nature of the current system. He also examines the continuing impact of Karl Marx as an analyst of capitalism.

Filmed in Brazil, China, Germany, the U.K and the U.S.A, System Error gives a fresh perspective on the capitalist system and where it is leading us.

"A very well made film, with impressive cinematography and great interviews... The madness of growth is clear and to the point! It's perfect." — Ulrike Herrmann, DLF Kultur

"An inspiring and very important movie." — Kino Ziet

"A great panopticon about the complex life on our planet." — Kino Kino

"In SYSTEM ERROR, the two-time Grimme-Preis Award winner Florian Opitz breaks down the limits of growth and examines the theses of capitalism critics by means of impressive examples." — Finanz Nachrichten



**33rd DOK.fest Munich

**SWR DOKU FESTIVAL 2018 - Winner of the STZ Leserjury Prize


Main credits

Opitz, Florian (film director)
Opitz, Florian (screenwriter)
Opitz, Florian (film producer)
Opitz, Florian (narrator)
Krüger, Jan (film producer)

Other credits

Music, Cico Beck, Florian Kreier & Bobby Rausch; directory of photography, Andy Lehmann; editor, Frank Müller.

Distributor credits

Florian Opitz

A film by Florian Opitz

Docuseek2 subjects

The Great Recession (2008-2013)
Marxist Economics
Neoliberal Economics
Finance, Speculation and Debt
Late 20th Century (World History)
Political Philosophy

Distributor subjects

Economic Sociology
Ethics (Business)
Political Science


; "System Error"; Icarus Films; Florian Opitz; Germany; Karl Marx; Capitalism; ; "System Error"; Icarus Films

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