Starring: Matt Damon (narrator)
Directed by: Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight”)
A documentary turns out to be a more intimate story when it can put a human face to a problem or situation. But what if the face it presents is one you’d like to punch square in the jaw? “Inside Job” is the kind of film that should light a fire inside anyone who understands the current financial crisis in the U.S. even at its most basic level.
It probably depends on your politics, however, whether to believe the elaborate information director Charles Ferguson spoon feeds audiences through a heap of talking-head interviews and statistics. For an economist, it can’t get much more interesting than this.
For everyone else, “Inside Job” wants you to know at least one thing when you step out of the theater: No one has been held accountable for the economic downturn the country has experienced over the last three years. In fact, the individuals who should be taking responsibility for the ever-growing debt are actually getting richer, while the average, middle-class American citizen is struggling to pay rent, put food on the table, and find a decent job.
At least Ferguson unapologetically points the finger at the major players who need to answer for their actions. Whether they’re the right people is up to every moviegoer, but Ferguson is surprisingly more bipartisan than most conservatives would like to think. When your last film was a critical analysis of the George W. Bush administration and the war in Iraq (“No End in Sight”) you tend to have people think of you as more of a liberal.
But Ferguson finds fault everywhere. Like with any documentary film, it’s up to the viewer to take the information offered and let it process in their own way. The stats, graphs, charts and economic jargon might be a bit overwhelming for some, but Ferguson packages it as tightly as possible to spur at least some anger even from viewers who couldn’t tell you the different between a subprime lender and a sub sandwich.