The International (2009) review

Rated: 4 / 5

“The truth means responsibility!”

“Exactly! Which is why everyone dreads it!”

Films like these are how I know cinema didn’t truly start dying until at least 2012. Sure there were the signs of decay with the unofficial banning (official blacklisting) of The Path to 9/11, but that was Disney being censorious assholes to protect some high members of the Democratic Party. It was for fairly personal reasons (even if they were overblown BS) that that film got censored and canned. Plus it had the whole based on true events thing going for it. This film, on the other hand, is fiction, but based on ideas that are most likely as close to reality as something like this can get.

The idea that international banks get involved in arms deals, and God knows what else, not for the sake of controlling a country through armed conflict, but through debt. The more organizations, businesses, countries, governments, individuals that are in debt to such large banks, the more the banks control them. As one of the personalities in the films says, “You control the debt, you control everything.”

Not only does the film touch on that, but it also doesn’t flinch when discussing some of the details of these arms deals. How they would sell weaponry to opponents of Israel, but only after either they or some other banking conglomerate sells Israel defensive countermeasures which would render such weaponry pretty much useless when used against them. So long as the banks make a profit, they could care less. Let alone just funding armed conflicts in African countries.

“Well, there is a difference between truth and fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

But then it adds another layer on top of that, and this is something I appreciate more given what I’ve learned with more recent research. How Communist figures betray their ideals and end up working with these banks that represent the worst of the Capitalist ideals they initially stood against. Basically because the base communist/socialist ideals do not work. For instance, consider the Bolshevik Revolution. It succeeded, and the Bolsheviks got their country, where the disbanded the banks and attempted to create their idealistic society free of the monetary currency they were used to relying on.

“it soon became evident that a new economy could not be built and that the government could not function without a stable monetary unit and credit system.”

George Garvy, National Bureau of Economic Research: Money, Financial Flows, and Credit in the Soviet Union: The Origins and Evolution of the Soviet Banking System: An Historical Perspective.

Even they were forced to adhere to more traditional banking and credit systems in order to keep their country with their newly established government and rule together. So to see a Communist character in the film who has regrets over being forced to adhere to a capitalist system and betray his ideals is something that speaks the truth more than some would care to admit. Though in this film’s case, the communist individual was of the Stasi (which was formed in 1950, well after Germany was defeated in WWII) rather than the Bolsheviks.

“The system guarantees the IBBC’s safety. Because everyone is involved.”

“What do you mean everyone?”

“Hezbollah. CIA. The Colombian drug cartels. Russian organized crime. Governments of Iran, Germany, China. Your government. Every multi-national corporation. Everyone. They all need banks like the IBBC so that they can operate within the black and grey latitudes. And this is why your investigative efforts have either been ignored, or undermined. And why you and I will be quietly disposed of before any case against the bank ever reaches a court of law.”

Make no mistake, this is a bleak film. It’s not something that’s going to sacrifice a sense of realism for some happy Hollywood ending. But it will provide a tense thriller, with one great shootout sequence in the middle of it. And its plot will provide much for the viewer to chew on, especially when looking into just how real the topics brought up in this film are. One such topic being that these banks are so big, so powerful, with so many powerful forces that utilize them, that it’s virtually impossible to bring them down. Which is probably why there wasn’t much effort into censoring this film on release. It presents specific information that is hidden well enough in reality to where there wouldn’t be any solid proof to go after them on (assuming anyone who tries wouldn’t get suicided like Jeffrey Epstein in the process), but also isn’t secretive enough in the general sense to where such knowledge wouldn’t be widely accepted when people just sit down and talk about it, especially when taking into account various news bits here and there.

In other words, the banks don’t give a shit about this movie, because they know anyone who watches it and learns about this from it isn’t capable of doing anything to harm them in any significant way. Well, at least one would think. This film is apparently inspired by the BCCI banking scandal in the 80s, where that bank was forced to close after corruption was revealed. So I guess there is some light at the end of the tunnel, potentially. If nothing else, the film is good at getting people familiar with relevant topics in the same way Wag the Dog does.

Plus it’s a solid well-paced tense thriller. One of the better ones out there. Recommended. The only thing this film leaves out when it comes to banking is the reliance some would have on something like the Federal Reserve, but that’s something beyond the scope of this film. And something that I would be stunned to see a film cover anywhere near as effectively as this one did for international banks.

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PS: Not to mention this film came out immediately after the 2008 housing crisis. Quite the timing.

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