Financial meltdown documentary wins Oscar

Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:15am EST
 

By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Inside Job," a film blaming financial institutions for triggering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, won the Academy Award for best documentary on Sunday.

Director Charles Ferguson started off his acceptance speech lamenting that "not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that is wrong," drawing applause from the Hollywood celebrity audience.

"Inside Job," the second Oscar-nominated documentary by Ferguson and his co-producer Audrey Marrs, was considered the front-runner for the Oscar after it won the Directors Guild of America award for best documentary.

The film had impressed critics and the industry alike with its expansive cinematography, global reach, fast-paced narrative and pointed interviews.

Ferguson, a self-described "policy wonk" with a doctorate in political science, interviewed fund managers, central bankers and political advisers for his film, which uncovered an uncomfortably close professional relationship between academia and hedge funds.

But not everyone was willing to subject themselves to his pointed questions, including key players like Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and treasury secretary at the worst moments of the economic implosion.

He also expected more from the new government.

"The biggest surprise to me personally and biggest disappointment was that nobody in the Obama administration would speak with me even off the record -- including people that I've known for many, many years," Ferguson said backstage.   Continued...