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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room - Film Screening at Pomona College

Pomona College will screen the film Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, ahead of its national release, on Thursday, March 24 at 4:15 p.m., the Hahn Building (Room 101), 420 N. Harvard Ave., Claremont. The 110-minute film, which is based on the book of the same name by reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Alex Gibney, the film’s director and screenwriter, will attend the screening and answer questions.

The film is a captivating behind-the-scenes look at Enron’s dramatic fall, told through a series of rapidly paced interviews, corporate footage, news reports and Congressional hearings. The film focuses on Enron executives ex-chairman Ken Lay, ex-CEO Jeffrey Skilling and ex-CFO Andrew Fastow. In addition to the two Fortune writers Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, many former employees, lawyers, analysts, authors, politicians and even a few cartoon characters contributed to the film. A significant portion of the film is spent on California’s energy crises and features the audiotapes of Enron traders callously exploiting the state’s energy crisis.

“Densely packed, with a world of information for the sophisticate and neophyte alike, Enron is riveting, muckraking filmmaking that should make any culture critic of the 1990s proud,” notes Geoffrey Gilmore in the Sundance program. “With this film, Gibney has fashioned a history lesson that takes us ‘inside’ the headquarters of the seventh-largest corporation in the United States and illustrates…the ‘new economy’ of the 1990s: a climate where companies sold ideas rather than widgets, and a corporate culture where ethics became as old fashioned and out of date as value investing.”

Alex Gibney, an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and director, is currently executive-producing Exiles on Main Street, a series of short films directed by Wayne Wang, Mira Nair, and Sherman Alexie, among others. He recently produced Lightning in a Bottle, which premiered at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival and served as series producer for The Blues, an Emmy-nominated group of seven films broadcast on PBS. He also wrote, directed, and produced The Pacific Century, a 10-hour documentary series that won an Emmy and the Dupont-Columbia Award.

The film screening is organized by the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College, which is dedicated to expanding and enhancing comity and shared knowledge among the nations and cultures on the Pacific Ocean. Pomona College has been a leader in Asian Studies among American college and universities since the turn of the past century. For more information on the film screening, call (909) 607-8065.