In his 10.6 review of Charles Ferguson's Inside Job (Sony Classics, 10.8), Marshall Fine says this brilliant, diamond-hard doc "should be required viewing for all citizens. Instead, it's destined to be one of those movies that critics rave about and people who already know this material go to see. But it should be shown in every college and high school, in all the economics, civics or social studies classes in America."
In my review from the Cannes film festival, I said that "every Average Joe and tea-bagger needs to see this film at least twice and take notes each time. (Or at least read the press notes.) Will they? Of course not. Inside Job will only play to the educated liberal urbans -- the only social class that's even half-inclined to spend ticket money on documentaries.
"The American public was -- hello? -- robbed blind and is still being made to suffer by an arrogant den of thieves, and the enormity of their power-corridor hustle is almost too vast and labrynthian to comprehend. But Ferguson's doc makes it more comprehensible than in any presentation I've seen thus far.
Inside Job "delivers a clear, razor-sharp portrait of a gang of blue-chip ogres and world-class motherf***ers (Summers, Paulson, Greenspan, Geitner, etc.), starting with their initial unleashing during the Reagan-era deregulating and moving through a litany of Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43 sign-offs, conflict-of-interest corruptions, revolving-door deals and mutually beneficial h***jobs.
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"Too many billions were available, they all got greedy and created games and schemes in order to line their pockets, and here we are. And Barack Obama hasn't done jack about restraining this culture since taking office."
Fine agrees and reviews the basics: "If the financial crisis of 2008 has shown anything, it's that deregulation -- a free-market idea championed by Republicans and Democrats alike -- has exactly the opposite effect of what is promised.
"Ultimately, it also proves the primitively atavistic nature of human beings: that altruism is an unnatural societal construct and that self-interest is the natural impulse of the human animal. Take away the rules and, rather than benefiting everyone, it benefits only those in the position to exercise power.
"It's like the long-refuted notion of trickle-down economics: Given the opportunity to keep more of their money instead of paying taxes, corporations and businessmen don't use that money to create jobs and send more money downward to those in the lower-income brackets. No, they follow human nature and hoard as much for themselves as possible."