21 February 2011

INSIDE JOB (Dir. Charles Ferguson, 2010, US) - Bamboozled By The Powers That Be

A documentary should observe, educate and propagate a reality which is perhaps unfamiliar to us. The rise of politically oriented documentaries were really accelerated by the work of Michael Moore and whilst he has dumbed down on certain political issues his intentions of helping to oust Bush, change the outcome of an election, raise awareness on the prevalence of gun culture and dissect the crimes of what is a defunct American health care system, they are all socialist endeavours that must be praised. Inside Job should be part of a cycle of documentaries responding to the current global economic crisis and recession but unfortunately this has not transpired in the way the medium responded so effectively and politically to the war on terror, the Iraq war and the Bush regime. Written and directed by Charles Ferguson, Inside Job is more frightening that any horror film you are likely to come across this year as it deals with a horrifying contemporary reality which is hard to stomach as it was instigated and calculatingly perpetuated by a sickening economic elite who are not judged for their crimes but live in a realm of disturbing exclusivity.

Similarly like Eugene Jarecki responsible for the new documentary on Ronald Reagan, writer and director Charles Ferguson refuses to involve himself personally and his on screen absence means any sense of performance is invisible in the face of argument building. Inside Job is largely successful, though it does get a little complicated when it comes to the economic jargon, in its analysis of the complexity behind the current global crisis. Ferguson draws a number of conclusions, many of which are still being debated, on the current economic crisis; white collar criminals were responsible, Wall Street should be indicted, self regulation means no regulation, this was not a banking crisis but mass fraud, the rich benefited enormously, the status quo had to be preserved, the financial institutions of America dictate policy both domestic and foreign. Perhaps the one conclusion that really stood out for me personally as a teacher was the legitimisation of such illegal and amoral economic practises, many of which are enforced by the American education establishment in which respected economic professors and teachers (mostly Harvard) are effectively representing the interests of the major financial institutions. It’s a shameful alliance.


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