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Movies rip into Wall Street at Toronto

business Updated: Sep 13, 2010 22:24 IST

Several films now playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, and set to open in theaters around the United States in the next few months, offer a brutal assessment of the debt-swapping high jinks, regulatory failings and general spirit of self-aggrandisement that, by the movie world's lights, led to the financial collapse of 2008.

Two documentaries, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer directed by Alex Gibney, and Inside Job, from Charles Ferguson, take direct aim at Wall Street powers who are described as contributing to the financial implosion.

Client 9 is set for release on November 1. Inside Job will be shown at the New York Film Festival this month, and released commercially in October.

A third film, Casino Jack, casts Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff, the former businessman and lobbyist sentenced to jail for defrauding American Indian tribes and contributing to official corruption.

Michael Douglas is back, in his Wall Street character, "Mr Gekko", out of prison and counselling Shia LaBeouf as a young trader in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Set for release on September 24.

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer plays a pivotal role in Inside Job, which is narrated by Matt Damon and includes interviews with a string of political figures, academics, watchdogs and Wall Street operators.

Paul A. Volcker sips an amber liquid on the rocks. Columbia Business School professor and former Fed governor Frederic Mishkin hems and haws into a mercilessly unswerving lens.

And Ferguson said in an email: "The core driver of this crisis was... irresponsible and even criminal financial sector behaviour." There is always room for a sequel.