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Cannes documentaries dissect financial crisis

business Updated: May 19, 2010 21:15 IST
James Mackenzie

A devastating picture of a corrupt system out of control emerges from two documentaries on the financial crisis that coincide with Oliver Stone’s return to a fictional Wall Street at Cannes festival.

Inside Job, directed by Charles Ferguson and Cleveland versus Wall Street, by Swiss director Jean-Stephane Bron, dissects a disaster that brought the global system to its knees.

The films distil a simple message from their examination of the speculative frenzy that linked suburban US home buyers, complacent officials and global financiers. “This was a bank robbery but it was a robbery committed by the president of the bank, not by some random guy who walks in with a gun,” Ferguson said. “This was a crime committed by people who ran the financial system.”

Ferguson's film focuses on explaining the banking crisis while Bron uses the format of a trial movie to show the struggling victims of the subprime mortgage collapse who lost their homes.

Ferguson interviews a host of big names from the head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn to investor George Soros.

Both filmmakers agree with a global push towards tighter regulation of the financial system, to protect markets against themselves. “There is a lack of democracy, that’s the main point,” Bron said. Reuters