Enron, the Movie


Due to an difficult work schedule, blogging is light these days as is everything else. But we did manage to see the Enron documentary this weekend, with the director in attendance.

Its a good documentary and worth watching. Though I have some minor quibbles with it. It spent way too much time on the macho corporate culture, and too little on how that culture actually works. Kind of like how reality shows manage to naturalize their participants’ bad behaviour, even as they set up the conditions that make that behaviour mandatory. The film could have withstood a more detailed explanation of what it is that the executives were doing and what the rules were that they were gaming,” audiences are nearly not as dumb as what producers sometimes think they are. Spending so much time psychologizing the Enron fraud was kind of a waste of valuable film time.

I usually skip the question and answer part at screenings, but the one with the director of Enron was very good and illuminating, he talked about the ways in which Enron was a very innovative company, and how they weren’t actually breaking any rules technically, which is something I would have liked to know a lot more about, because there is something wrong with the way things are set up which allow for an Enron to happen, rather than the testosterone poisoning of business its executives (that too, but it only has so much explanatory power). The film did suggest it, but didn’t argue for it strongly enough.

My favorite section in the film was an account of the energy crises in California. It pulled together all the vectors that went into that particular drama. Finally, do go see the film and support it, its worth seeing and supporting.