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Hot Docs 2019: “Inside Lehman Brothers” (2018) ★★★★


Money. It’s as Eden Capwell once said in a famous American soap opera, Santa Barbara, “is important to buy clothes and food. Other than that, it’s not capable to buy happiness.” Yet we, the people of Earth, manage to buy one over the grief of others. That grief, sadly, has many faces, reasons we wish never had to even know about. And all these for what? Because the corporate world wants nothing more than the piece of paper we call money. Why you may ask? Because they know how to play with it in a ruthless world with empty morals and lack of empathy.

“Inside Lehman Brothers” follows the American Dream and people who thought that by owning a home they can fulfill their life to the fullest. But little did they know that America’s fourth-largest Investment bank doing business in all aspects of the financial world and operational for one hundred and fifty-eight years will play a crucial role in the financial crisis of 2007-08. By doing that they crashed not only the market but many lives as well by taking away every penny being saved for a rainy day, and even worse, cause the loss of houses, cars, and mental stability that, as you know, is irreparable.

The film begins with Matthew Lee, former senior vice president at Finance Division of Lehman Brothers back in 1994-2008. As he reveals about being blacklisted from Wall Street or, more importantly, following his conscience to become a whistleblower that eventually brings to the fore all the messy mortgage scams heavily used by the financial institution. Whether it is through Oliver Budde, Sylvia Vega-Sutfin, or Linda Weekes’ much revealing interviews, written and directed by Jennifer Deschamps, the film offers much more than you can imagine by providing an in-depth analysis of the impact of the financial crisis and how it all started.

In conclusion, “Inside Lehman Brothers” is an eye-opening piece is the least I can say. However, the clever storytelling helps us to bring that needed element together to explain the necessity of slowing down in a game where human lives are involved. On top of that, this documentary alone teaches us so many things but being cautious is one of them. And as for the justice system, it has already been biased and more favorable towards the wealthy society. And with the conclusion being drawn in the end, it’s proof of that.

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