This week I checked out the documentary film Inside Job about the collapse of the global economy and those responsible for it. The film’s narrated wonderfully by Matt Damon.
The story takes us from the very genesis of the issue all the way through the collapse and beyond. Oddly enough it begins in Iceland. It’s really a great start as no one can fathom why Iceland until the explanation sets in.
Inside Job is rife with details of the most complex concepts and yet manages to convey them all in very manageable pieces that leave few questions. We also get a bevy of top-notch interviews with power players at every level and type. Politicians, philanthropists, brokers, journalists, professors and more all chime in with several not doing themselves any favors.
My biggest concern as the movie progressed was how it’d be viewed by those on the Right. There are definitely some liberal points of view here and the movie includes a few comments from like likes of George Soros whom Glenn Beck refers to as “The Puppet Master”. For Beck fans that alone will paint this as a progressive calamity. However, a few conservatives I know that saw it told me they thought it was brilliant.
The feeling is Left but yet it manages to come out balanced in the end. It did make me think of An Inconvenient Truth but avoids similar scrutiny with the use of Damon as its voice and with no one in front of the camera except those interviewed. It also equally called to task everyone involved regardless of political affiliation and that includes Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and others.
These are issues I’ve stayed on top of, or so I felt, and yet I learned quite a bit here. One of the biggest moments of the film involves its explosive charge that Wall Street has even reached out to corrupt our students at the college level. Interview subjects are often left defensive, stammering or outright speechless in trying to defend their actions.
On the down side the movie incorporated lots of imagery that didn’t feel connected properly. We’d be shown a shot of a single unfinished skyscraper suggesting that the building was left in this state as a result of the collapse but without any narrative. It could have been any building not yet finished. Lots of shots of empty homes. Were they foreclosed on? Maybe. Maybe not. We apparently just needed to see more vacant homes. This really was unnecessary. They felt very much like tools designed to tug at our emotions in a very blatant and direct way that’s tantamount to cheating in a film doesn’t need to take the risk.
In the end it’s one of the very best films I’ve seen this year and one that should be seen by as many people as possible. It’s thought-provoking, damming and highly engaging all at once.