Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Before that, I’d been lobbying, in my tiny little way, for Restrepo, a film that I not only consider powerful, relevant documentary filmmaking, but also a work of art. So, come the results on Sunday the 27th, I was a little annoyed and prepared to be insolent. As I do. (But at least Banksy didn’t win.)
However, I watched Inside Job again, having liked it a lot the first time, and liked it even more the second. Ferguson is an accomplished filmmaker and has crafted not only a helpful and informative timeline of the last world economic crisis, but has also made a lucid and accessible argument against the very existence of the finance industry, an oxymoron if there ever were one, and did so without undue polemicism but rather with clear attention to detail and research. The scope of the bullshit will take your breath away. Narrator Matt Damon helps, too.
There are plenty of jaw-dropping but still humorous quotables in the film; but, this is my favorite coming from a Harvard Business School professor:
Question: Why do you think there’s isn’t any more systematic investigation [of the financial crisis] being undertaken?
Answer: Because then they would find the culprits.
Like torture, evidence that you committed a financial crime seems to ensure that you won’t be prosecuted.
At least, you won’t be prosecuted if you work or worked for the Bush, Clinton, Bush or yes, Obama administrations.
Larry Summers. Patterson. Geithner. Sachs. Ginsler. Shapiro.
Mr. President, please.
It would be funny if it weren’t so enraging.