Oct 5, 2010

NYFF: Inside Job

                                                    The Three Stooges

Charles Ferguson is the documentary filmmaker who made No End In Sight, a very cogent look about the Iraqi mess and now he brings his organizational storytelling skills to Inside Job, a very entertaining, maddening and bitterly comic look at how the entire world was (and is being, as we speak) swindled by Wall Street in cohoots with the American government, including the current one. It is a blatant piece of rabble rousing, but, hell, we needed one. It is also a good didactic primer about what happened and how. Like No End In Sight, it doesn't really tell us anything new but it says it with verve, clarity and righteous outrage and it is required viewing for those people who still don't know what hit them. It should be required viewing for all Americans, period. But particularly for those who still think this is a true democracy and their votes count (HA!). For those Americans who are sitting on their asses (that includes me) waiting for government to reform itself and stop getting kickbacks from corporations, and start protecting its citizens from violently criminal greed. And particularly for those Americans who still refuse to be deeply disillusioned with Barack Obama. Obama had a chance to enact real financial reform and instead hired the exact same people who helped bring about the cataclysm in the first place, so that they could bail out their buddies and continue their bonus giving tradition undisturbed.
There is a parade of examples of brazen conflict of interest, the appalling behavior from the SEC and the rating agencies, the excesses of $1000 an hour prostitutes and mountains of coke, all passed as legitimate business expenses, beautiful aerial views of mega mansions in The Hamptons and fleets of private jets and helicopters, an entertaining catalog of outrage. And the movie, smartly, looks like money. Ferguson is no Michael Moore, with that klutzy DIY aesthetic. He understands that the movie needs to convey the hard glitz of greed. See it and weep. Or riot. Your choice.

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