THE GREAT GREED
"Were it not for Jürgen Harksen, we would have carried on living normally," says pensioner Walter Schönlau. Instead of enjoying retirement, the former manual worker has lost all his life’s savings to the millionaire conman Jürgen Harksen.
A film by CHRISTIAN JENTZSCH
TV, GER, 52 min., HD, stereo
"Money gone, wife gone" – Schönlau is bitter. The former manual worker in South Africa has lost all his life’s savings to the millionaire conman Jürgen Harksen. The six years’ and nine months’ sentence which Harksen has been condemned to serve in Germany is much too brief for Schönlau’s liking.
In the documentary ‘Harksen or the great Greed’ Christian Jentzsch reveals that Jürgen Harksen is no gentleman thief but a man who planned his unexampled fraud down to the slightest detail and was unscrupulous about even the smallest wage-earners.
The film shows Harksen's rise from provincial Flensburg onto the financial parquet of Hamburg high society before moving on
– to his downfall.
Old friends, lawyers, victims and his wife Jeanette are heard. In South Africa the NDR team were even able to find and film Harksen’s so-called ‘actors’, who collaborated with him by pretending to be bankers and managers at meetings of big spenders. Jeanette Harksen, who returned to Cape Town after her husband’s conviction, can hardly help smiling over her sunny cocktail in thinking of his former ruses.
A film by CHRISTIAN JENTZSCH,
camera: ERIK HARTUNG, GREGORY SHAW, sound: ANDREAS BÄURLE, ZAHIR ISAACS montage: MARTIN EBERLE, commissioning editor: RAINER MARKGRAF, producers: UWE DIERKS, ANDREA THILO.
A BOOMTOWN MEDIA production
commissioned by NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk.
ERNST SCHNEIDER AWARD 2004
in the category "Business in Entertainment".