Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars and the financial crisis

The documentary "Inside Job", a recounting of the financial crisis of 2008, last night won the Oscar for Best Documentary. I have no comment on whether or not it was well-deserved - I assume it was - or on the movie itself, which I haven't seen. But I would like to note the reaction the victory produced in director Charles Ferguson.

Ferguson started his acceptance speech by noting that "three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong." Well, he can make the case they committed crimes and deserved to go to jail, if he thinks there's legal reasons for it. But that's not really the point, because of course he's not a lawyer or law professor or even a scholar of finance. He's a movie director who successfully produced a winning film about the subject. It may be highly educational, but that doesn't mean Hollywood has any particular political expertise - all of their protests to the contrary. Politics isn't entertainment - it's dead serious.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are right. Making a movie doesn't make you the expert- it makes you a movie producer/director. just out of curiosity what is Michael Moore? I know he considers himself a political theorist- but do we? There's an interesting documentary that's supposed to open in theatres in september called UNME, about how the UN is a bad organization- I don't think the producer, Ami Horowitz considers himself a reporter or a political analyst- but I think his movie will be oscar worthy- and might land him on the news circuit- once there, is he a "newsman"? or a journalist?