“Governments may change. But the police remain.”
That line seems chilling, a blood-curdlingly neat summation of the politics of repression and control in regimes everywhere. But what’s unsettling about how the line is delivered in Costa-Gavras’ “State of Siege” is that the speaker doesn’t mean to be sinister. A “consultant” for Latin American police departments working on behalf of the CIA, he’s merely describing his business, and how business is always good.
The 2008 financial meltdown is a tricky subject for a filmmaker to tackle — the reckless and greedy actions of a few financiers, and the lack of consequences they faced when it all blew up in their faces, remains one of the defining chapters in the new century. And yet few have access to their world, and even fewer understand how it works and how it went wrong (including the finance players themselves). As John Oliver said on “Last Week” a couple of weeks ago about net neutrality: “If you want to do something evil, hide it inside something boring.”