Effortless French (Bitcoin Big Bang, l'improbable épopée de Mark Karpelès)


Lark Theatre Sun, Oct 7, 2018 12:45 PM
Sequoia 2 Wed, Oct 10, 2018 12:30 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:104 min.
Premiere Status:North American
Director:Xavier Sayanoff
Vincent Gonon
Producer:Thierry Tripod
Cédric Delport
Damien Le Boucher
Screenwriter:Xavier Sayanoff
Vincent Gonon
Cinematographer:Raphaël Aupy
Stefano Forlini
Vincent Gonon
Jean-François Lesellier
Xavier Sayanoff
Editor:Dorian Tabone
Cast:Mark Karpelès
Print Source:Xavier Sayanoff
Note Writer:Margarita Landazuri


The rise and spectacular fall of Mark Karpelès, CEO of the bitcoin digital currency exchange Mt. Gox, is a lesson in how easily the digital universe can be manipulated and how quickly its promises can come crashing down. This engrossing documentary examines Karpelès’ life and career, providing a fascinating look at a cryptic personality. Often hailed as the future of money, bitcoin became a worldwide sensation, and Mt. Gox, launched in 2010, became the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange. But by early 2014, the company reported the loss of 850,000 bitcoins (currently valued at more than $800 million), “seemingly out of nowhere.” Is Karpelès—a Frenchman living in Tokyo—a con artist or victim, clueless or cunning? Directors Vincent Gonon and Xavier Sayanoff interview the impassive Karpelès (on trial in Japan for embezzlement and other charges), Mt. Gox clients, and financial and tech experts, in a riveting attempt to get to the bottom of the scandal.

Sponsored by:

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States

In association with Alliance Française de San Francisco

Additional Information

Xavier Sayanoff is a jack-of-all-trades French filmmaker who has directed, shot, and edited numerous TV documentaries, TV shows, and digital brand content. Effortless French is its third collaboration with Vincent Gonon.

Vincent Gonon is a French filmmaker and cinematographer. He has directed and co-directed documentaries on various topics over the last 10 years. Because of its very unusual main character, Effortless French is one of the most incredible projects he has had the chance to work on.