Political documentaries are the vegetables of film. You know that as a citizen and voter you should probably inform yourself, but you don’t necessarily expect to enjoy the experience. Inside Job is a documentary that explores the origins of the 2008 financial crisis that led to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and identifies the culprits in the private and public sectors, Democrats and Republicans. This sounds both important and dull, not to mention a bit depressing.
But in fact, this is such a well-done piece of movie-making—it even begins with beautifully photographed sweeping aerial shots of spectacular Icelandic scenery—that it never failed to hold my interest. Such esoteric monsters as debt obligations and credit default swaps are explained in plain English. One comes away realizing that the principal cause of the crash was the dismantling of reasonable financial market regulations from the Great Depression that had prevented any significant crisis for half a century, and that this deregulation was largely the result of corruption and stupidity on the part of both political parties.