Inside Job
Directed by Charles Ferguson

Charles Ferguson follows up his stellar Iraq War documentary No End in Sight with an equally detailed look at the recent global financial crisis that started in 2008 and—despite some reports to the contrary—certainly appears to be ongoing.  Much of the information is familiar, but Ferguson’s great gift as a non-fiction filmmaker is his ability to streamline and synthesize complex events into a clear, yet far from simple narrative.  Inside Job burns with the same anger that fueled Michael Moore’s similarly themed Capitalism: A Love Story, but this film is more focused and thoughtful, an unwise (but fortunately brief) detour into exploring the titillating peccadilloes of Wall Street types—you know, drugs, prostitutes and other vices—notwithstanding.  For me, the most compelling part of the film was Ferguson’s investigation into some of the country’s biggest business schools, where the teaching staff consists of many of the same economists that advanced the theories and policies that led us into our current mess and who still do consulting work for major corporations.  (Interestingly, though they are granted the title of “professor,” few of them are actually part of the faculty, which frees them up to pursue big paychecks in the corporate world in between school semesters.)  The knowledge that these are the people who are training the next generation of stockbrokers, CEOs, and economic theorists—thus ensuring that their harmful policies will continue for at least another generation and beyond—is more frightening that any of the horror films that will be coming out around Halloween.

Inside Job opened in limited release on October 8 and will expand to more cities in the upcoming weeks.