Apology of an Economic Hit Man

A fierce assertion of decades-long U.S. rogue government criminality isn't ruined by the awful decision to include awkwardly noirish re-enactments in "Apology of an Economic Hit Man."

A fierce assertion of decades-long U.S. rogue government criminality isn’t ruined by the awful decision to include awkwardly noirish re-enactments in “Apology of an Economic Hit Man.” Named for the belated remorse of secret operative-turned-whistleblower John Perkins, docu exposes the messiest details of American empire-building in a way that makes “The Fog of War” look fuzzy. Explosive material undeniably deserves feature-length treatment, although Koiloglou’s hourlong version –prepped for TV and presumably lacking some re-enactments — might play better than the feature Moxie released in August for a week each in New York and L.A.

Perkins’ 2004 book caught the attention of Greek documentarian Stelios Koiloglou, whose footage of the ex-agent lecturing to an angry Ecuadoran crowd is interspersed throughout. No doubt unbelievable to some, Perkins’ account of his job within the U.S. “corporatocracy” — to twist developing nations into crippling debt and subservience to American military interests — is convincingly supported by the filmmaker’s historical narrative. Perkins, despite his apology, remains unsympathetic, which is how Koiloglou and his audience would seem to want it. Abrasive electric score by Active Member further pumps the viewer’s boiling blood.

Apology of an Economic Hit Man

Greece

Production: A Moxie Films (in U.S.) release of a Lynx production, in association with Greek Film Center, ERT. (International sales: Lynx, Athens.) Produced by Ilias Bovalis. Directed, written by Stelios Koiloglou, from the book by John Perkins.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, DV), Dionisis Euthimiopoulos, Manolis Konsolakis; editor, Kenan Akkawi; music, Active Member. Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival (Nonfiction Features), Sept. 26, 2008. Spanish dialogue. Running time: 93 MIN.

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