If you’re still curious about what derivatives are after seeing Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn’s drier, more in-depth examination of the meltdown and bailout might help. In the end, though, Casino backs up Moore’s point that the jargon and the formulations merely obfuscate the game of three-card monte that fat cats are playing with trillions of your dollars.
Or, to use the filmmakers’ conceit, these parasites see the economy as a vast casino in which they can bet what they want because the rest of us are the ones who pay up if they lose. Putting a face on the incomprehensible figures, the film takes a look at some of the victims, middle-class professionals who bought into the dream of home ownership and lost everything.
Casino relies on talking heads, but now and then an image shocks with its clarity, like the close-up of mosquito larvae swarming in an abandoned swimming pool. They are not the only bloodsuckers who thrive on this misery.