Facets Cinémathèque

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April 14–20, 2017

Chicago Premiere

Betting on Zero

Buy tickets

Pershing Square Capital CEO Bill Ackman, activist Julie Contreras
and writer/director Ted Braun in person!

Film still: Betting on Zero
"Remarkably poignant"
  —New York Times
"Timely, provocative and absorbing"
  —Los Angeles Times
"Even if it tells the age-old story of the filthy rich getting richer and the poor going nowhere, Betting on Zero is still rather shocking"
  —Screen International
"Convincing and emotional"
"A searing exposé"
  —Chicago Tribune

Allegations of corporate criminality and Wall Street vendettas swirl throughout this riveting financial docu-thriller. Controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman is on a crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history. He argues the company targets working class Latino communities with a "business opportunity" that is nothing more than a scheme. Meanwhile, Herbalife execs defend their product as a genuine opportunity, and accuse Ackman of being an unadorned market manipulator out to bankrupt them in order to make a killing off his billion dollar short position against the company. Amidst the heated rhetoric on both sides, who has the moral standing?

This invaluable documentary, directed by Ted Braun (Darfur Now) presents a high-stakes chess game between the corporation and the individual that moves between the ethically fluid world of high finance to the personal grounds where the battle plays out with startling immediacy. Blending tales of high-stakes corporate intrigue with working-class people caught in the crossfire, Braun paints a stirring picture of the American Dream gone wrong.

Directed by Ted Braun, U.S.A., 2016, 98 mins.

Facets Film Dialogue:
Pershing Square Capital CEO Bill Ackman, Chicago Activist Julie Contreras, and writer/director Ted Braun will be here in person for a Q&A after the 8:30 p.m. screening on Monday, April 17.


  • Fri., Apr. 14 at 6:30 & 8:30 pm
  • Sat., Apr. 15 at 3:45, 5:45 & 7:45 pm
  • Sun., Apr. 16 at 1:45, 3:45 & 5:45 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Apr. 17–20 at 6:30 & 8:30 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation