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otohara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 12:15 PM
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The Smartest Guys In The Room - Enron Documentary - Opens 4/22
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For those who considered Fahrenheit 9/11 last years most successful horror movie, here comes Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, another terrifying examination of the hubris with which the Bushies and their Big Oil cronies are raping America.

Adapted from the book of the same name, Enron meticulously tracks the rise and fall of Enron boss Kenneth Lay and his second-in-command, Jeffrey Skilling, while also delving into the grotesque activities of their various lieutenants. Its not saying anything new to remark that this is the story of a monstrous violation of the public trust, but knowing the basic framework of this cautionary tale doesnt diminish the documentarys drama and revelatory power.

Writer/director Alex Gibney presents the string of events that led to Enrons collapse with surgical precision, and in so doing creates a disturbing conspiracy thriller. He kicks off with the suicide of Enron executive Cliff Baxter, then backtracks to explore how Baxter was just the most obvious tragedy in a catastrophe of epic proportions. For those keeping track, the key stats are that Enrons collapse put 20,000 workers out on their asses, and caused more than $3 billion in pension and retirement benefits to disappear.

Why did it happen? The obvious answer is that Lay, Skilling and their cohorts got greedy, but thats only part of the story. As the subtitle indicates, the top guys at Enron werent dummies, so its not as if they pulled a fast one and hoped no one would notice. They exploited loopholes in existing business law -- and created new business models -- with the intent of defrauding the public in plain sight.
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