Thursday, January 10, 2013

Best movies & docs on 2008 financial meltdown

During the drama of the last few months around the fiscal cliff in the U.S., Europe bailout of Greece, I felt a 'déjà vu' from Summer of 2008 and the near collapse of the global financial system. Over the years, there were several books, articles, movies and documentaries relating the events and the build-up of the housing bubble and the painful recession that resulted and ruined the lives of hundreds of millions around the World.

As a 'cinéphile' (movie buff), here is my selection of some of the movies and documentaries on the topic; some more interesting than others, but all together give a very insightful portrayal of what happened and all the protagonists involved.
Inside Job
Inside Job
© Sony Classics Pictures 2010

Inside Job
This documentary is by far the best in my opinion to relate the events leading to the bubble of 2008 and the fall of Lehman Brothers and the handling of the crisis by several government stakeholders.

Co-written and directed by the excellent Charles Ferguson, narrated by Matt Damon, the documentary won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2011.

Too Big Too Fail
This is an HBO feature film, adaptation of Andrew Sorkin's excellent book. While the book provides slightly more details about the background of each protagonist, the movie renders very well the events and the urgency driving the events, served by an amazing cast, especially William Hurt as Hebrt Paulson (Treasury Secretary) and James Woods as Dick Fuld (Lehman Brothers). Full cast on Great work of documentation and cinema. I highly recommend it.

The Flaw
The Flaw (2011)

The Flaw
This documentary takes a historical approach to dissect the American Capitalistic system to explain its excesses and the crisis of 2008, very bright and interesting minds are interviewed in this documentary. Worth watching.

CBC Docs: Meltdown

The public Canadian broadcaster CBC aired in 2011 this documentary series in 4 weekly one hour episodes. A good synthesis of the events, similar to Inside Job, with a little bit more details since they had time. Meltdown is available to watch online in Canada only (copyrights restrications). Here is an overview of the episodes:

Capitalism: A Love Story 
This is probably the weakest link of the list, but I wanted to add it because it had some good exposure and Michael Moore films are always funny to watch as entertainment, not as facts-backed documentary. As much as I hated biased Fox News right wing propaganda, I can't stand Moore's; same applies to MSNBC leftist business.

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