The 2008-09 collapse of the U.S. auto industry was a defining moment in the historical tapestry of Detroit.
The collateral damage of the mortgage-backed securities crisis that plagued our economy and caused the largest recession since the Great Depression had General Motors, Chrysler and their suppliers facing certain doom. Until Uncle Sam, at the behest of a federal task force, stepped up using taxpayer dollars to bail them out. It worked. Less than a decade later, the auto industry is buzzing and is on pace to celebrate another near-record year of car sales and profits.
But a pair of former movie and television executives believed the public didn't get the full story and made the film "Live Another Day," a documentary adapted from the Paul Ingrassia book Crash Course. Media previews of that film kick off this week.
Bill Burke, co-director and former Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner executive, and Didier Pietri, co-director and former president of ABC Pictures, spent three years interviewing the industry and union executives, orchestrators of the bailout, journalists and other experts about the industry collapse. The documentary features interviews with former Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli; Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman; Steve Rattner, head of the auto task force appointed by President Barack Obama; Jay Alix, founder of advisory firm AlixPartners LLP; Jimmy Lee, vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase; Bob King, former president of the UAW; Steve Miller, former CEO of Delphi Automotive plc and current CEO of IAC; among others.
I chatted with the producers about the film, its characters and the events surrounding the government bailout. The documentary, which won the best documentary prize in April at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival, debuts in theaters Sept. 16. See the trailer below.