A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Inside Job is the 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary that traces the roots of the global economic crisis that we face today. It is a maddening film that plays like an economics lecture where the professor continuously runs his fingernails down the blackboard. It opens not on Wall Street or Washington, but in Iceland which was always a prosperous and safe country until about ten years ago when the banks started borrowing hoards of money and committing unregulated, unsavory practices leading to chaos and economic ruin. It is supposed to act as a microcosm of our current predicament. We then learn how banks were deregulated in the 80s following 40 years of growth and prosperity. Greed fueled decisions for banks to take risky investments which led to short term growth but eventually the recession, bailouts, and the housing crises. We learn how this new system was perpetuated and even how many of the people responsible haven't been tried for crimes and how some are even still making decisions or holding economic positions! Inside Job doesn't really speak my language (and I would guess it doesn't speak others as well). The econospeak is above my head and I still don't know what a derivative or a CDO is but I think that's the point that many people involved and effected don't know either. The movie is well made, consisting of sweeping shots of New York City intercut with stock footage and interviews. It is nicely written and directed by Charles Ferguson and Matt Damon is a good choice for narrator. It is also nice to see a documentary without grandstanding or gags. I don't really like calls to action, but this is an important film and its own resolution at the end makes a lot of sense as we start to pick up the pieces shattered by corporate selfishness.