Friday, October 1, 2010

EIFF Week: The Inside Job

From Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, comes Inside Job, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, “Inside Job” traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, Inside Job was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China - Official Synopsis

Everyone knows the buzzwords “subprime mortgage,” but this documentary shows exactly how the financial sector managed to make millions while millions of individuals lost everything. Ferguson takes no crap from his interview subjects, as seen in the trailer. In my screening, there was significant (and quite entertaining) audible disgust heard throughout the film as the web of corruption is slowly unveiled. The pacing is brisk, but slow enough for stupid people like me to understand the intricacies of international finance. The use of colourful graphs helps a lot.

The most satisfying thing about “The Inside Job” is seeing the guilty parties squirm in front of a camera. “I don’t need to answer that” is the most suspicious way you can answer a question like “doesn’t that seem criminal to you?” Iconic of the ineptitude found from government leadership is Frederic Mishkin. Mishkin resigned from his position as a Federal Reserve Governor at the height of the crisis and was asked why he resigned at such a sensitive time. His timid response was that he needed to make revisions to his textbook, and was needed back at Columbia University. When asked if he truly believed that the textbook was more important than the credit crisis, he begins to speak, stops, and looks at the interviewer as if he’s hearing his own words for the first time.

“The Inside Job” is an oddly thrilling and upsetting tale of intrigue, deception, greed and corruption.

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