I often think of Fran Lebowitz's quote, "Americans don't hate the rich, because they always think they will be that some day, that they are pending rich." Jackie and David represent our fantasy and our dreams in a way but also the ultimate exaggeration of the American dream.
IN THE FILM, DAVID TAKES CREDIT FOR GEORGE BUSH BEING ELECTED. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT DISQUALIFIES HIM AS A FIGURE OF SYMPATHY.
That probably depends what side of the political spectrum you're on.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT THE SIEGELS LIKE THE MOVIE OR LIKE YOU?
You know, I'm a human being. I like to make friends. I remain very close to Jackie, but I also recognize that people are not always going to like what you do. It goes with the territory of being a journalist or a documentarian. I have to be honest. I have to tell a story with integrity and compassion. Getting to know them well and getting close to them and their family allowed me to tell a more empathetic and sympathetic story. But, the movie itself has a life of its own, and you can't control how people react to it, and you can't be bending to that in the making of the film itself. Jackie likes the film and has come out to several film festivals, and for David, I think his feelings mostly come down to business.
HE'S SUING YOU AND THE FILM, IN PART, FOR ENDING THE STORY WITH HIS BUSINESS AT ITS LOW POINT. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU'RE IMPLYING THAT HE MIGHT HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING. BUT, IN FACT, HE'S EAGER TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, TO FINISH THE HOUSE.
You've hit the nail on the head. We look at the same thing with Wall Street and whether we have learned anything. What we have learned is something about human nature and about our values. It's our choice where we want to go with that. I was with Jackie a couple of weeks ago, and David does want to go back to building the house now and took out a large mortgage to try to make that happen. At this point, Jackie doesn't really want to move into the house. She feels like if they finish it, the kids will be grown anyway.
One of the beautiful things in the making of the movie is that neither Jackie nor David ever felt any shame in what was going on. They felt like they'd done all the right things and that what was happening to David and his business was through no fault of his own. At the end, though, he does speak that powerful lesson that "we have to get back to reality. We have to live within our means. If I hadn't built so big, I wouldn't be in this situation." Jackie also said that, in addition to wanting to finish the house, he wants to start a new property in Las Vegas.