What’s happening in a way that brings high-end brands like Armani and Bulgari to the poor people of East London? The premise of “Fast Forward,” featuring “London Calling” singer George Michael and Aidan Turner, the star of “Poldark,” is that a project like this would be unlikely to have sprouted up without an infusion of capital from the city’s billionaire class.
The film, part of the “Fast Forward” series, deals with its titular characters as they help to transform decrepit East London neighborhoods into a vibrant and thriving haven of luxury. Characters include Michael and Turner’s characters, a trust-fund son named Sampson (Ricky Seo), as well as a Lithuanian investor called Alexander (Igor Vlasic) and others.
But the fate of the film is more than just a visit to East London. With the passage of a year since the documentary “Money Monster” screened in theaters, the film’s subject, Lee Gates, has become a power player in the world of investor capitalism.
Mr. Gates, who lives in an apartment in the Upper East Side with his wife and four children, owns hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate and acquired sizable stakes in the pizza chain Del Frisco’s and the ship-carrier company Seaspan. He also founded a hedge fund that goes by the acronym TAQA Investment Ltd. (TAQA, pronounced “tea,” derives from the Aramco flag of Saudi Arabia and, from there, the Islamic name Taqshya).