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Chasing Madoff [Blu-ray]
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Based on the New York Times best-seller No One Would Listen, CHASING MADOFF is the compelling story of how Markopolos and his team of investigators pieced together a chain of white-collar predators and revealed some of the most frightening truths behind the infamous scandal.
Top Customer Reviews
The media did not report on a lot of the details, and there are things here that you may not have not heard before.
The main thing is that the Madoff Ponzi scheme was much bigger than most people realize; it was truly global in scope and people all the way up to many European royal families (and perhaps Prince Charles) were affected.
Also, Madoff did not act alone. He kept the smallest slice of the pie for himself and made sure that all the feeder funds made big money. There was also offshore or "dark" money invested in Madoff's scheme.
Because of this, Markopolos had valid reason to fear for his life.
Also, prior to watching this documentary, I was not aware of the story of Thierry de la Villehuchet, which was tragic. Markopolos seems to think he was involved with head-hunting for Bernie, while Harry's colleague Frank Casey believes Thierry was an honorable man who got duped like everyone else. Either way, it was sad to hear how he despaired and took his own life when the scheme came crashing down.
Also the story that Frank Casey tells of "Abe" and his failed attempt to warn his new wife and father-in-law to not invest was sobering and sad to hear.
Saddest of all is that almost no one listened to Markopolos and his colleagues; the economy is what brought Madoff down. Even though Markopolos was invited to testify before Congress, and received praise from some representatives, you could tell he was not a welcome guest there; but they finally had to listen to him since the scheme had blown up due to the financial collapse.Read more ›
If you wish to gain a better understating of the Maddof affair and how Harry Markopolos fits into the picture, I highly recommend Frontline's documentary on this topic, or Diana B. Henriques book "The Wizard of Lies." If you want to see 45 minutes of extraneous footage of Mr. Markopolos loading clips into handguns, putting on body armor, or peeking through blinds, this is the movie for you.
Look, I get that Mr. Markopolos probably felt a great deal of stress going up against someone as powerful as Madoff, but in hindsight the level of his panic was probably not justified; the story since revealed shows that Madoff didn't regard Markopolos or the Media as anything other than a small roadblock to amassing new clients. Markopolos really jumps the shark when, after the Maddof scheme implodes, he becomes absolutely convinced that the SEC is imminently going to execute a raid on his home and assassinate him and his family in order to hide the evidence of the SECs failings. He has his wife stand at the top of stairs, gun drawn, with instructions to shoot anyone who tries to enter; meanwhile he goes to a nearby pizza shop to fax some documents to a reporter. The whole segment is absolutely bizarre.
Frankly, if Markopolos acted at all in person like he comes off toward the end of this documentary, I can understand why so many people wrote him off as someone whom not to take seriously. This in no way excuses the SEC from its failure to act however. Harry Markopolos was absolutely right about Maddoff, it is just a shame that he was so ineffective at making the case to everyone else.
The subject is riveting. And the documentary did manage to impart some information about it.
Now, the minuses:
I have never seen such ridiculous overdramatizations in a documentary in my life. Roughly half of this movie - time that could have been spent going into the SEC's version of things, or delving into the 300 groups that just get a mention at the end of the film, or even delving into the math... was instead spent on film cuts of people storming banks that had nothing to do with Madoff, film cuts of mob hits that, in the end, had nothing to do with Madoff, photos of dead people that had nothing to do with Madoff, fake explosions that never happened, dramatized arrests that never happened, and even the interviews, in order to make them more dramatic, were filmed with a camera that slowly turned from a straight angle to a dutch angle. A simple resignation was filmed with an image of the protagonist disappearing in a puff of smoke. All the interviews of the main people are shot against a pure black background. A dropped reference to one of the people having gotten a mob threat in an unrelated incident earlier in his life - that came to nothing, was punctuated by a cut to a photo of a random murder with a booming sound effect. Typing is punctuated with the sound effect of furious typing on a typewriter - even though the people are actually typing on computers. The list goes on and on. So much effort, that could have instead gone to investigative journalism. Ugh.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
aside from the cinematography ..at times....it is an important film and well done. Harry for President!Published 14 hours ago by liliana paradiso
Great expose both on the depth of the Madoff fraud and the ineptness and lack of willingness of the SEC to act. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Dubster