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Inside Job

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Inside Job poster artDo you get angry when you think of the 2008 economic crisis? Prepare to get even angrier as you watch Inside Job, the latest from intrepid documentarian Charles Ferguson. Beyond provoking rage, the film points some clarifying fingers. It’s a whodunit where the villains make no attempt to disguise themselves. Why should they? Their fraud caused trillions of dollars of losses, yet no one went to prison. In telling the story of what really happened, Inside Job brings accountability where the justice system has failed.

Director Charles Ferguson has a background uniquely suited to this task: he earned his own financial success founding a software company bought by Microsoft, holds a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, has consulted for U.S. government agencies and authored books on technology in the marketplace.

As seen in his previous film, No End In Sight – which scrutinized America’s failures in Iraq and went on to be nominated for an Academy Award – Ferguson is adept at securing high-level interviews and never shies away from asking tough questions. Once again, he assembles an impressive roster of interview subjects, including George Soros, French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde and U.S. congressman Barney Frank.

Narrated by Matt Damon, the film demystifies the complex mechanisms that led to millions of home and job losses. Ferguson examines how politicians dismantled regulations enacted after the Great Depression, how Wall Street escalated its high risk behaviour and how Ivy League business schools neglected to challenge dangerous trends. Glenn Hubbard, the Dean of Columbia University Business School, delivers an interview on this topic that’s especially entertaining – albeit unintentionally so. If you thought a Dean would welcome the spirit of open inquiry, think again.

As Ferguson makes clear, nothing substantial has changed since the crisis. The same people are still in power and the same systems are still in place. So, yes, prepare to get angry. But that’s not enough; we also need to get wiser. Inside Job helps us do both.

– Toronto International Film Festival

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