Inside Job (2010) is a documentary film about the late-2000s financial crisis directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010 and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011.
Ferguson has described the film as being about “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption.” In five parts, the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the financial crisis. Inside Job was well received by film critics who praised its pacing, research, and exposition of complex material.
The film sets out to demonstrate that the financial crisis was not “random” or “accidental”, but was avoidable. It begins with Iceland which, before the crisis, was doing well economically. The country had been highly deregulated in 2000, notably with the privatization of its banks, which ultimately collapsed in 2008. In reality, the situation there constituted a “Ponzi scheme“, which credit rating agencies and government regulators failed to prevent. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and AIG collapsed on September 15, 2008, Iceland was swept, along with the rest of the world, into a global recession.