The first few minutes suggest a thriller: the lights are flashing, the runway is dark, and the passengers on the private jet have tense faces.
As always the face of the big bell is covered with a light film of sweat. He panicked, hit his hand on the cabin wall, kicked his wife, and turned around, gasping for breath. Mani was long gone at the beginning of the feature film “Big Money”.
Before that happens, Manny likes to tell himself the incredible story of entrepreneur Manfred Brenner (Hans-Jochen Wagner): the story of a company called Flottex in Etlingen, Baden, whose founder Manfred Schmidt made history as one of the biggest swindlers. The film is directed by Nikki Steyn. The first was Wednesday night at 8.15pm, Strangely designed – so close to reality.
A great deception
Years later it brought him down, dragged out politicians, carried out lengthy processes and caused the taxpayer more than four billion euros in losses: even non-existent horizontal drilling machines rented out non-existent counterfeit orders. Very easy. No one wants to pay attention to it.
Surrounded by bangers in the form of greedy bankers, skinny politicians and the inexperienced luxury woman of the soil, only Mani gets a bold outline in the film. Wagner portrays him as a simple soul, breathing hard, childishly optimistic, impatient, arrogant, and always a little loud. The film does not deviate, and does not deliberately strive for subtle character studies.
Superficially full of clichs, this is the best way to approach this amazing scam. As often happens, there is no logical explanation for how politicians and banks can be deceived in this way. Bitter lesson: Everything is simpler than you dreamed: Manfred Schmidt was a liar. And people want to be blind.
The tremors of the Flowtex scandal still resonate today. So far, 240 million euros have been disbursed to 396 debtors. The real Manny was punished for a long time – he was released earlier.
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