DVD, Blu-Ray Movie Review
Directed by Charles Ferguson, Written by Chad Beck and Adam Bolt, 120 minutes, Rated PG-13.
By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz
The complex tale of fraud, foreclosure and whole a lot of money goes under the microscope in Charles Ferguson's Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job," now out on Blu-Ray and DVD. Ferguson’s film chronicles the recent economic recession, starting from the downfall of the Internet stock boom to the rise of the derivative bubble and the financial disaster that crippled the world.
If this sounds confusing or overwhelming, fear not, Ferguson’s tight narrative, daring interviews and careful explanation breaks down the details, making this financing nightmare clear and infuriating.
“Inside Job” opens with Iceland’s quick economic meltdown, which turned the self-sustaining bastion of prosperity into a destitute nation. Iceland’s prologue offers a micro example of what would become the world’s economic recession.
Ferguson begins America’s role in 2001, after the fall of the Internet boom, another microcosm of the soon-to-be worldwide disaster. The fall of this industry caused Wall Street to turn their sites towards something more controllable, namely mortgages, financing, and loans, which would allow them to play other people’s money on the stock market, as well as control which stocks rated higher.
With the stock buyers, regulators and raters in control, they could raise the price of risky stocks and bail out and profit before it crashed. It is a cycle of increased risk taking, deregulation, and lowered morals, which not only brought great wealth to few, but also bankrupted many.
The film counteracts the confusing Wall Street jargon and economic aerobics by sitting down with those who know, teach, and utilize these practices from both sides of the fence. Speaking with economic professors, stockholders, and regulators, Ferguson gets a well-rounded, clear argument – although his opposition doesn’t really have much of one. Some speak of the amoral attitudes and ambitions of Wall Street’s heavy-hitters, as those responsible stumble between bad excuses and not commenting.
Matt Damon’s narration over Ferguson’s graphics tie it all together. While the film might be cold and factual, it never allows anything but the facts to get in the way. There are consequences to these actions, and the film doesn’t ignore those affected entirely, but “Inside Job” educates its audience with a sure voice, rather than an emotional one. The filmmakers slow things down and break apart the flaws in economic logic, as well as the pratfalls in those supposedly looking out for the public’s best interest.