Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Inside Job

Charles Ferguson could have called his movie The Social Network. In this lucid, searing documentary about the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown, the fundamental delusions that led to the crash — among them, the belief that with little official oversight, the banking and housing sectors would function sanely — were shared by powerful men who knew one another: the heads of investment firms and their cronies in government and academe. Ferguson, who also made the 2007 doc No End in Sight, about the similarly myopic run-up to the Iraq invasion and occupation, has a calm facility for confronting the malefactors; when they keep waffling, he mildly observes, "Excuse me, you can't be serious." However scholarly his tone, the rage keeps bubbling up — particularly in the viewer. This is a true-life heist movie, and the thieves not only got away with their billions, they're still doing business. Pay attention and blow a gasket.