“The Flaw” makes one thing clear from the outset—there was nothing simple about the U.S. financial collapse of 2007. Within minutes, experts had identified plenty of culprits: market failure, a credit culture, a wage crisis, a debt crisis, and upward redistribution of income. That’s economic shorthand for fasten your seatbelt.
David Sington’s rigorously constructed analysis of the meltdown, told entirely by economists, brokers, bankers, and borrowers, plays like a financial whodunit. Moving past the usual suspects, it creates a vivid historical context through which to view twentieth-century American capitalism.
Bolstered by graphics and animation (ironically plucked from postwar cartoons extolling free markets) the film renders complex ideas digestible and argues that capitalism has changed in the last 30 years—and not for the better. Once sold on consumer power through borrowing and a higher standard of living, we realize we bought into a lie. “The Flaw” has burst the bubble. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Institute]