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Chasing Madoff [Blu-ray] [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • Release Date: April 3 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B006Z7Z3IG
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d0aebb8) out of 5 stars 657 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d1fe57c) out of 5 stars Harry Markopolos for head of the SEC Dec 31 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
Everyone should watch this documentary, even if you think you're familiar with the Madoff story.
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. Most politicians are beholden to Wall Street, just as the SEC seems to be, and I don't think Washington really wanted to hear what Harry had to say about the corruption of the system. If the politicians truly appreciated Mr. Markopolos, they would have appointed him head of the SEC. Can you imagine what things would be like on Wall Street if Markopolos led the SEC? But no politican who has taken money from Wall Street (and that's almost all of them) would ever dare nominate him.
One other thing I found interesting was when Harry's colleague alludes to the other great Ponzi scheme: "God forbid we should ever lose confidence in the US Dollar", but that's a tale for another documentary.

The main lesson I took away from this documentary is that you can't trust government or Wall Street to protect your money; like Maggie Mahar or Catherine Austin Fitts would say, you must get your money off Wall Street and put it on Main Street if you want it safe - buy a home, a business, gold and silver, or other hard assets, and be sure to bank with a local bank or credit union that is conservative and well run.

Everyone should watch this film so that they understand how corrupt the system is.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d110144) out of 5 stars Worthy subject gets an unworthy documentary Jan. 26 2016
By K McK - Published on
Verified Purchase
First, the pluses:
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e6a2c) out of 5 stars My Eyes...My Eyes!! Oct. 21 2015
By Sloburn - Published on
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Greater story than the greatest fictions. I nominate Harry Markopolos for president of the universe. The director of this documentary, on the other hand, should count his lucky stars that the bare facts can't be made uninteresting. The directing and cinematic renderings are beyond painful. I had to close my eyes and listen so I wouldn't have to endure the ridiculous dramatizations. This documentary should be preceded with a warning: "Danger: viewers may believe they're having a stroke due to idiotic scenes in which the video blacks out every few seconds to simulate a vantage point between a ceiling and the blades of a ceiling fan. No we're not kidding."
27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d1f9504) out of 5 stars Markopolos probably deserves a better documentary than this May 20 2013
By robin - Published on
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First off, let me just say that I highly respect Mr. Markopolos and fully acknowledge that he was one of the few people who labored mightily to bring down the Madoff fraud. Unfortunately this documentary comes up way short when discussing the nature of the Madoff scheme, then quickly drowns in over-dramatizations of Markopolos extreme paranoia.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2e6780) out of 5 stars You aren't going to learn anything the news didn't already tell you March 5 2016
By Chauna Black - Published on
Verified Purchase
I am a layman when it comes to Wall Street and all that goes with it, so going into a documentary like this I expect a couple things: 1. to probably get a little discombobulated with the various players and their individual roles in such major situations (where I have to assume there are many players involved), and 2. to learn a few things that I didn't know about the situation before watching, and those things would likely make me very angry.

Well, first, I can say, even as someone who didn't follow this story closely when it happened, I still didn't learn anything especially new either, and so that tells me there isn't really much of a story here (beyond what we've already heard from the news years ago). Secondly, the person who this particular story angle is centered on, the "whistleblower", never actually gets to blow the whistle at all so the story doesn't truly go anywhere. Instead it spends over an hour sensationalizing "potential" threats or 'he's gonna get caught this time!' moments, and then...nothing. Madoff turned himself in, on his timeline no less, the rich stayed rich, those that turned a blind eye continue to live their lives and enjoy their money, and those who didn't have much to lose are now in total poverty. The end. It's pretty much the same story over and over again when it comes to Wall Street so if you are looking for something beyond that simple truth you aren't going to find any justice or satisfaction here, and you aren't even going to learn anything new to boot. This one is basically only good for white noise.

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