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Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Inside Job", the Wall Street World Government

Inside Job

"The politicians do not rule the world, Goldman-Sachs in Government". These are the words of Alessio Rastani, an anonymous stock market trader until this week, when he got interviewed, in all his shameless and shameful honesty, at BBC News, shocking the world with his message. It's not the only one-liner he said that deserves to be remembered. "If you know how, you can make money off a crash!", and "in less than a year the savings will be gone for millions of people without that neither markets nor governments can do anything" are painstakingly examples of what and who leads of the world these days. His position, attitude, words and message are the best summary of "Inside Job", a film that dissects how and who put the world into the economic crisis we are facing. Welcome to the Wall Street World Government.

Director Charles Ferguson, who won the best documentary award at the Oscars, divides the film in a five episodes structure to analyse all sides to take the closest look at what brought about the financial meltdown. The idea and aim is excellent, as we have a comprehensive and very detailed analysis, but the episodes are seriously unbalanced.

After a very good start with the background of the recession in which we go to Iceland before setting the movie at the United States, we move into episodes 2 and 3, where the crisis is carefully explained...with too many facts, numbers and graphics. Don't get me wrong, a serious documentary must inform and give facts, but in my opinion, there's too much and too fast in the film. I have serious concerns about if "Inside Job" can connect with the general audience and not just the people already interested. Worse, I'm among "the already interested" and I admit some of the information provided wasn't fully assimilated, and that I missed some analysis on the role of international institutions (if any) or a wider scope (not just the States). In the other hand, watching the film should be mandatory at schools. Its a documentary that requires to be studied, not just watched.

On the contrary, chapter 4, "Accountability", has to be highlighted on its own. Brilliant from start to finish, offers a side of the crisis completely overlooked. The role of education and economic schools in which politicians, corporations and the markets find their ideological support that seems to have the power to justify that deregulation, bank rescues or lately, cuts on social services, are necessary for the good of economy. "Inside Job" reveals, thanks to sharp and smart interviews, that is a lie. Education has been as corrupted, hypocrite and selfish as banks and politicians, and therefore they are responsible of that crisis as well.

The final chapter "Where are we now" is the other standout moment of "Inside Job". Without any political bias, Ferguson points out how the Obama administration is almost entirely composed by the same people that was behind the crisis, whether in previous political or corporative positions. So you can easily guess what's the conclusion. On the not so good side, there's a slight outburst at the very end of the film, losing part of its remarkable objectivity until that point.

"Why should a financial engineer be paid four times to 100 times more than a real engineer? A real engineer build bridges. A financial engineer build dreams. And, you know, when those dreams turn out to be nightmares, other people pay for it". The words of Andrew Sheng are the best summary of the crisis, so I will save you some time skipping the rants and insults I'm tempted to utter. In what regards to "Inside Job", I believe is a must-see. My suggestion would be to combine it with Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story", as together they provide a complete and powerful picture. Moore is more focused on the people affected by the crisis, the human side, and as it less dense in the explanation of the crisis, while Ferguson's is more objective and informative. Hey! At least there's one thing we have to thank the crisis for. Some filmmakers have been moved to direct great and insightful movies about it.

SCORE: 6,75/10

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