Alex Gibney won acclaim for rigorous documentaries about corporate corruption (2005’s ‘Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room’) and US foreign policy (2007’s ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’). Now he tackles the fall of Democrat Eliot Spitzer, New York Attorney General from 1999 to 2006, when he was dubbed ‘Sheriff of Wall Street’ for fighting white-collar crime, and Governor of New York from January 2007 to March 2008, when a scandal forced his resignation. ‘He was going to be our first Jewish president,’ says one interviewee – but that was before he hired prostitutes under a false name. Gibney secures interviews with the main players: Spitzer, who takes a ‘mea culpa’ stance, his nemeses Hank Greenberg of AIG and Ken Langone of the New York Stock Exchange (both gloating) and Spitzer’s preferred companion, ‘Angelina’ (an actress recounts her words). What Gibney suggests is that politicians and business ganged up on Spitzer in a feeding frenzy that would not have consumed a less contentious politician. A curious insight into power at the highest levels.
Friday March 4 2011