Award-winning director Yoav Shamir (Defamation, Checkpoint) sets out on an entertaining and insightful international quest, exploring the notion of heroism through a multi-faceted lens. ... See full summary »
A 30-minute follow-up piece for Roger & Me, this was first shown when that film was broadcast as part of the PBS series P.O.V. Moore briefly re-examines the economic collapse of Flint and ... See full summary »
Janet K. Rauch
A documentary about the closure of General Motors' plant at Flint, Michigan, which resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs. Details the attempts of filmmaker Michael Moore to get an interview with GM CEO Roger Smith. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I grew up near Decatur, Il, a city that was devastated in the late 70's and 80's by downsizing in the auto industry, the migration of jobs south of the border, and corruption in the giants of agribusiness. The city's economy has never really recovered and has been on the frontlines of the labor battles of this country, while the national media has ignored it. It bears a close parallel to Flint, Michigan, as depicted in "Roger & Me.
Moore goes back to his hometown and sees the effects of massive job loss, created by a company that cared more about executive stock options and bonuses, than the community it lived in. We meet people who have lost their jobs, benefits, and homes as a result of short-sighted decisions. With few alternatives that pay a living wage, the community spirals into decline. We see the arrogance of wealth, via lavish parties, while the poor are evicted from their homes. We watch as city leaders concoct one bizarre cosmetic scheme after another, without ever addressing the real roots of the economic problems of the city.
The film makes many valid points which still hold true and still occur. You can find fault with Moore's "ambush" approach and mockery of celebrities; but, Moore has usually made civil efforts to talk with these individuals, only to be ignored or driven off. So, he resorts to grandstanding tactics which brings attention to the issues he is pursuing. Also, the celebrities are so generally caught up in their own self importance, that they deserve the skewering they receive.
You can fault Moore's tactics and selective portrayal of an issue, but he does provoke discussion, which is usually his aim. In this, he is following the great tradition of the muckrakers, like Upton Sinclair, who were able to stimulate argument on vital topics and effect positive change. Moore is a great filmmaker and thought-provoking figure. Love him or hate him, he makes you focus on issues. Too bad politicians and executives don't.
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