A bank robbery is more than a criminal act, it is a myth, an art, even an export article: from America via England and France it spread to Germany. There have always been robbers, but with the advent of industrialization, motorization and urbanization, along with the accompanying expansion of banking systems, bank robbery becomes its own, qualitatively new category. It is the individual’s answer to the growing metropolis, to an employee existence, to big city lights, and to the anonymity of these structures.
The Heist is a documentary essay that explores the cultural history of bank robbery as 20th Century phenomenon. The film poses questions about the social, economic and technical conditions, which have made bank robbery possible, popular and, in the end, the subject of trivial mythology.