I was lucky enough to get my hands on a preview copy of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and, if you have two hours to invest, I highly recommend heading to the theatres in a few weeks when it opens.
Some quick stuff about the aesthetics- the movie is beautifully produced, moving from interview to interview seamlessly, all the while narrated by Peter Coyote and featuring an eclectic array of popular music that always seems perfect for the scene. An example of how fitting the music was- when the entire house of cards has fallen, and the company is bankrupt and the tale has been told in all its sordid nastiness, the credits roll. And who better to sum up the attitude that a sane person has to have about the tragic tale of Enron than Tom Waits:
There’s a leak, there’s a leak in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves and lawyers
God’s away, God’s away
God’s away on business, business
God’s away, God’s away on business, business
And really, that about sums up what caused Enron, at least from the perspective of this documentary. For those of you who might have been casual observers of L’ Affaire Enron, the film will chronicle the whole psychotic underbelly of Enron, complete with the institutional neuroses, the greed-induced binging and purging, the outright lying, and the conspiracies that spread through the legal, banking, and investment communities to prop up Enron and help to continue the facade.
For those of you who want a 2 hour Bush bashing festival- this is not your movie. The documentary fairly chronicles the unprecedented Bush family ties and the other excesses and cronyism that went on, but it is not unfair. If anything, it is underplayed. Also surprising is how sympathetic Ken Lay appears- the real villains, as you will learn, are Fastow and Skilling. This does not excuse Lay, as their is ample guilt to go around.
At any rate, I highly recommend this film. Go watch it.