Monday, January 25, 2010

Sundance Films: CASINO JACK and the United States of Money

Title: CASINO JACK and the United States of Money
Director: Alex Gibney
Website: no individual site, but click here for Sundance page

This portrait of Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff—from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah—confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. A tale of international intrigue with Indian casinos, Russian spies, Chinese sweatshops, and a mob-style killing in Miami, this is the story of the way money corrupts our political process. Following the ongoing indictments of federal officials and exposing favor trading in our nation's capital, Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney illuminates the way our politicians' desperate need to get elected—and the millions of dollars it costs—may be undermining the basic principles of American democracy. Infuriating, yet undeniably fun to watch, CASINO JACK is a saga of greed and corruption with a cynical villain audiences will love to hate (Sundance).

Thoughts: There couldn’t be more excitement for another film at Sundance than the official return of Alex Gibney to the subject of greed. The now well known and respected director first hit the main stage with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room where he made a complex and financial-jargon driven story into a crowd pleasing and eye opening documentary. He returns to this so-called genre by covering the Jack Abramoff scandal from a few years back. The title alone should entice audiences to this one and it should only be a matter of time before theaters showcase this documentary.

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