To jump on a cliché, if there is one film you should see in this week’s batch of new releases, it is Inside Job (Sony), Charles Ferguson’s damning (and as of last week, Academy Award winning) exposé of the story behind the financial crisis and the failures of both government and industry to put measure into place to prevent a similar abuse of the system from occurring again.
Documentary filmmaking is where some of the best investigative journalism is being done today and this is a superb example of the genre. Ferguson puts hard questions to Wall Street professionals, executives at the failed financial giants, government regulators, economists, academics and elected officials and presses them when the answers don’t pass the bull***t test. While he doesn’t always get a better answer, the squirming and discomfort and, at one point, a request to turn the camera off tell us that there’s another story they aren’t telling us. That’s the story Ferguson digs up here. He doesn’t simply tell us what’s wrong with the system, he shows us the conflicts of interest between government, industry and the so-called independent economic advisers who are hired by the very corporations their recommendations affect.