Futures Past

    • Jordan Melamed
    • United States
    • 2012
    • 93 min
    • World Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
    "A pit trader is like a medieval knight: he faces another human being to defeat him, to destroy him, to annihilate him," explains a wise observer in Jordan Melamed's documentary about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) - the world’s largest “futures” exchange and the last trading floor to operate with the open outcry trading system. Traders stand in "the pit" and shout out their offers as if their lives depended on it. Melamed was a pit trader for 15 years and made millions at the exchange, but then decide to turn his back on that world and gambled away his fortune on a career in film. It was the only way to step out of the shadow of his father, Leo Melamed, a living legend who revolutionized the markets by inventing the concept of financial futures. When Jordan returns to Chicago because the world of open outcry is being replaced by computers, we discover that his father, a charismatic Polish immigrant and Chairman Emeritus of the CME, is disappointed that his son didn't take on the legacy that was his to inherit. Jordan creates a record of a disappearing craft and we are treated to a crash course in hand signals, the golden rules of the exchange, and some splendid anecdotes. As the knights begin to vanish, Jordan attempts to reconcile with his intractable father before the world he built is gone.


    • 93 min
    • color
    • video
    • Spoken languages: English
    Jordan Melamed
    Jordan Melamed, Alexander Janiuk
    Seth Hendrikson, Sid Lubitisch, Slawomir Grunberg
    Danniel Danniel, Jessica de Koning, Suzannah Herbert
    Screening copy
    Jordan Melamed

    IDFA history

    World Premiere
    IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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