What’s left to tell about the Bernie Madoff scandal? Plenty, if you’re Harry Markopoulos, the famed whistleblower whose repeated cries of “fraud” were ignored by everyone from the SEC to the Wall Street Journal. Markopoulos gets his day in “Chasing Madoff,” partly based on his book “No One Would Listen” (and originally titled “The Foxhounds”). But he doesn’t come off much better than his prey in this highly stylized documentary, screening June 5 at the Berkshire International Film Festival.
A self-described crusader who calls Madoff “evil,” Markopoulos seems to relish vamping for the camera as much as he savors telling his story; director Jeff Prosserman pads the film’s 90 minutes with po-faced dramatizations that literalize what we hear in Markopoulos’s clammy voiceover (Harry taps the keyboard to e-mail reporters; Harry looks under his car for a bomb; Harry frenetically faxes documents). In case we miss the point, Prosserman also overlays fake news announcements over vintage newsreel footage to remind us that crime doesn’t pay, whistleblowers get hurt, and the stock market’s unfair.