Backstage Interview: Charles Ferguson & Audrey Marrs – Best documentary feature.
by Daniel Haim
Inside Job is a 2010 documentary film about the financial crisis of 2007-2010 directed by Charles H. Ferguson. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010. The film won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature last night. Congrats!
Charles Ferguson & Audrey Marrs Acceptance Speech
Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong. Thank you, but this is, this is also, this is about the movies, in fact, and that’s what this is. So, thank you all for this profound honor. You’ve made us very, very happy. Thank you all. Let the record show, I’m not wearing jeans.
Having only made two films, I still feel that Charles and I are newcomers to this community, but from the beginning we’ve been made to feel incredibly welcome and supported for which I’m immensely grateful. Thank you so much to the Academy and to Sony Classics, Michael and Tom, and much love and gratitude to my family. Thank you so much.
Q. Congratulations. I was wondering, when you made your speech at the very start of it about the what sort of response you felt that you got from the audience?
A. [Ferguson] Well, I think the audience I think it’s responsible for itself. People applauded, and I think there’s a great deal of disappointment and anger in America that nothing has been done about this.
Q. Congratulations to you both. Terrific movie. Why do you think nothing has been done about this?
A. [Ferguson] Unfortunately, I think that the reason is predominately that the financial industry has become so politically powerful that it is able to inhibit the normal processes of justice and law enforcement. And I am sure also that personal decisions were made by President Obama and high level members of the administration about this question as well.
Q. Do you think anything will ever be done?
A. [Ferguson] I think that something will be done, if and only if, the American people get angry enough.
Q. I’m sure you’ve answered this question a couple times. What happened along the way making this film? Did you get any threats? Did you were there situations that you stepped into that you expected possibly or not expected?
A. [Ferguson] We did not receive any threats. There were some surprises. I would say that 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 had known for many, many years.
Q. Congratulations. I think this is the best film of the year of any kind of documentary or narrative film. What would you like to see an angry electorate do if you could wave your magic wand, and you can’t, because it’s a big problem and the problems are structural and systemic, but ideally what would you like to see changed?
A. [Ferguson] Well, I think the the policy measures that should be taken are fairly clear, although technically complicated. I think the principal question is whether it’s possible for us to elect leaders who are determined to really do something about this in the face of what would obviously be extremely serious and determined opposition from the financial services industry and its lobby.
Q. Hi, congratulations.
A. [Ferguson] Thank you.
Q. I was wondering what your take in there’s a lot of talk about Banksy and all that stuff. What were your thoughts on that? Did it draw away from the documentary or were you happy that people were talking about the film?
A. [Marrs] I would never question the integrity of another filmmaker, and I appreciate the fact that there was a film that was fun and funny, and I don’t think documentarians should necessarily feel obligated to make films about these really heavy subjects. Although, in some ways, I guess making a film about art is, but I appreciated there was one like that in the mix because I think documentarians should be able to make films about whatever they want.
A. [Ferguson] I thought the Banksy film was lovely. It was a beautiful film.
A. [Marrs] Me too.
Q. Thank you so much, and congratulations.