IT hit the world in September 2008 but the effects of the financial crisis, that was precipitated by the failure of Lehman Brothers, continue to haunt the world to this day. Apart from a minority of countries that are not closely connected to the global economy – some African countries, for example, the rest of the world took the hit when American financial crooks played fast and loose with other people’s money.
The film Inside Job is an excellent and detailed account of the crisis; it is made so much better by the fact that Matt Damon is the narrator.
Charles Ferguson’s film is a must watch for anyone who is interested in world events and wants to know how greed can spoil the party for everyone – except those who are at the grabbing end, people like those at Goldman Sachs. The film traces the genesis of the problem as it grew, examines the reasons why and talks to people around the globe to provide a broader perspective.
It is well-researched, authentic and gripping even though the main events took place more than two years ago. The film does not attempt to over-dramatise – it does not have to, the events it details are sobering enough in themselves. But hyping up things is a common failing of filmmakers and TV channels and by avoiding this altogether, the filmmaker emerges with a product that provides a more compelling viewing experience.
Telling the truth about the US of A is a difficult job; the country has done a magnificent job of selling itself as the greatest on the earth. Yet what we see in this film is a nation that is corrupt to its very soul, one where money is the only thing and everything, one where seemingly educated men behave like criminals, one where tenured professors turn into professional thieves with not a shred of integrity.
The magnitude of theft that took place to cause the crisis is amazing. Yet nobody went to jail; they were all bailed out and those in favour, like the Goldman Sachs bosses, continue to grow richer. At one level the film leaves one feeling sick inside; at another level, one is left with a profound feeling of respect for the filmmaker, the researchers and the narrator for making the tale one that is easy to comprehend, one that does not trivialise or sensationalise, one that seeks to educate above everything else.
And putting Damon behind the mike adds to the film in no small way – he is one of the few Hollywood stars who has integrity and puts his money where his principles lie. Inside Job is well worth the price of the ticket.