Like all good documentaries, Inside Job covers its material with a strong sense of narrative. This helps make the material, in this case the causes of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, more accessible to a general audience.
Starting out with the sorry tale of Iceland and its financial collapse, the film unfolds the layers of complexity of world financial markets carefully and skilfully, tracing the growth of new types of financial instruments developed off the back of massive brain and computer power from the 1980s onwards. We see the unfettered influence of the creators of those money-making schemes over US politics over the last thirty years, and the resulting failure of the US and other Governments to develop a regulatory framework to support the orderly operation of these new markets.
Some have described it as a horror movie masquerading as a documentary, and there are plenty of villains to get the steam coming out of your ears. Of course, some viewers might have steam coming out their ears at points where they think the film takes an unduly biased stance. Hey, feel free to make your owm film about it all.
Don’t be deterred by the subject matter – this is a film for everyone, beautifully made and carefully laid out.
Those who want to read more deeply on the subject could try The Great Hangover (edited by Graydon Carter), a collection of articles from Vanity Fair. This is also a good recent article on the broader issue by Australian journalist Ross Gittins: The Four Business Gangs that Run the US.