Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Shiller, Robert Frank, Andrew Luan and Ed Andrews
CONCEIVED AND DIRECTED BY
It's hard not to think of the films Capote and Infamous while watching The Flaw, award-winning documentarian David Sington's well researched and informative documentary examining the root causes of the greatest financial crisis the United States has seen since the Great Depression.
Destined to be viewed as a distant cousin to Charles Ferguson's remarkable Inside Job, The Flaw feels a lot more like the underground doc The Corporation, a film that avoided razzle dazzle in favor of presenting the facts and presenting them well. Sington, who directed the masterful In the Shadow of the Moon, tasks himself with finding a way to turn the subjects of economic theory and the history of the U.S. economy into a form that will be both informative and entertaining enough to hold the interest of a moviegoing audience.
Sington certainly interviews the right people to get his point across, choosing to focus his energy on well regarded economists and other financial experts including Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Shiller, Robert Frank and others. Sington attempts to lighten the subject by utilizing 1950's public service announcements, an approach that works initially but becomes rather tiresome and over-utilized. While his information is well documented using stats and graphs, even this approach becomes a bit dizzying as it feels like there's more and more and more to remember as the film goes on.
While Ferguson's Inside Job was far more successful in getting its point across, it's difficult to deny that The Flaw is a vital film and an important companion that may actually work best seen alongside Ferguson's film. Sington does a better job of looking at how history plays into our current situation and, while it makes the film drier, his weaving together of well informed interviews adds a tremendous heft to the film.
The Flaw premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011, and is getting prepped for a screening at mid-July's Indianapolis International Film Festival.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic