Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MFF Film #4 - The Flaw

UK, 2010
Director: David Sington

The Flaw dissects the the hidden credit bubble beneath the financial crisis ravaging the world economy and features in-depth interviews with an impressive array of experts, including housing expert Robert Shiller and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. 

Director Sington's previous work, In the Shadow of the Moon, was screened at a previous year's Milwaukee Film Festival and was absolutely outstanding, so I was looking forward to seeing The Flaw, and his treatment of this subject.  Indeed, Sington presents the "evidence" thoroughly and in an entertaining way, inter-cutting the sometimes mind-boggling numbers crunching with hilarious scenes from financial-themed cartoons and short films from the 1950's.  This, coupled with his use of graphics and charts to give a visual point of reference to what a talking head may have just explained.

Unfortunately, this is a subject that anyone who watches the news, reads the paper (or online news) or listens to NPR is already educated about.  There weren't any "gasp!" moments for me, or new information revealed; it was just well-presented information, with a couple of the obligatory housing bubble victims trotted out again, that anyone who was interested in what happened have learned over the course of the last three years or more.  And frankly, that is probably the audience for this kind of film.

The Flaw is a good, solid film, though not overly impressive, and unfortunately it felt like late news since, despite the after-effects that most of us are dealing with today, the "how" and "why" are by now, old news.  Had any damning new information been uncovered and presented, it could have helped keep the film fresh, but unfortunately that didn't happen.

MFF Ballot Rating: 3 out of 5

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