In 17th Century Amsterdam, an orphaned girl Sophia (Alicia Vikander) is forcibly married to a rich and powerful merchant Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) – an unhappy “arrangement” that saves her from poverty.
„Tulip Fever / Febra Lalelelor” follows the love story between the young and beautiful Sophia and a young painter.
After her husband commissions a portrait, she begins a passionate affair with the painter Jan Van Loos (Dane DeHaan), a struggling young artist. Seeking to escape the merchant’s ever-reaching grasp, the lovers risk everything and enter the frenzied tulip bulb market, with the hope that the right bulb will make a fortune and buy their freedom.
Tulipmania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble (or economic bubble); although some researchers have noted that the Kipper- und Wipperzeit (literally Tipper and See-saw) episode in 1619–1622, a Europe-wide chain of debasement of the metal content of coins to fund warfare, featured mania-like similarities to a bubble.
In many ways, the tulip mania was more of a hitherto unknown socio-economic phenomenon than a significant economic crisis (or financial crisis). And historically, it had no critical influence on the prosperity of the Dutch Republic, the world’s leading economic and financial power in the 17th century. The term “tulip mania” is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.
In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. Among the most notable centered on the tulip market, at the height of Tulipmania. At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsworker.