Roger & Me (1989)
[In closing credits]
subtitles: This film cannot be shown within the city of Flint... All the movie theaters have closed.
Michael Moore: [voice-over] Well, the million tourists never came to Flint. The Hyatt went bankrupt and was put up for sale, Waterstreet Pavillion saw most of its stores go out of business, and only six months after opening, Autoworld closed due to a lack of visitors. I guess it was like expecting a million people a year to go to New Jersey to Chemicalworld, or a million people going to Valdez, Alaska for Exxonworld. Some people just don't like to celebrate human tragedy while on vacation.
GM spokesman/lobbyist Tom Kay: Well, if you're espousing a philosophy, which apparently you are, that the corporation owes employees cradle-to-the-grave security, I don't think that can be accomplished under a free enterprise system.
subtitles: Tom Kay laid off, office closed.
Eubanks: You know why Jewish girls don't get AIDS? They only marry assholes, they don't screw 'em!
Michael Moore: [voice-over] Well, I failed to bring Roger to Flint. As we neared the end of the twentieth century, the rich were richer, the poor, poorer. And people everywhere now had a lot less lint, thanks to the lint rollers made in my hometown. It was truly the dawn of a new era.
Michael Moore: [after massive layoffs] Meanwhile, the more fortunate in Flint were holding their annual Great Gatsby party at the home of one of GM's founding families. To show that they weren't totally insensitive to the plight of others, they hired local people to be human statues at the party.
Michael Moore: [voice-over] So this was GM chairman Roger Smith. And he appeared to have a brilliant plan: First, close 11 factories in the U.S., then open 11 in Mexico where you pay the workers 70 cents an hour. Then, use the money you've saved by building cars in Mexico to take over other companies, preferably high-tech firms and weapons manufacturers. Next, tell the union you're broke and they happily agree to give back a couple billion dollars in wage cuts. You then take that money from the workers, and eliminate their jobs by building more foreign factories. Roger Smith was a true genius.
Michael Moore: Mr. Smith, we just came down from Flint where we filmed a family being evicted from their home the day before Christmas Eve. A family that used to work in the GM factory. Would you be willing to come up with us to see what the situation is like in Flint, so that people...
Roger Smith: [cutting him off] I've been to Flint, and I'm sorry for those people, but I don't know anything about it, but you'd have to...
Michael Moore: Families being evicted from their homes on Christmas Eve.
Roger Smith: Well, I'm... listen, I'm sure General Motors didn't evict them. So, you'd have to go talk to their landlords.
Michael Moore: They used to work for General Motors, and now they don't work there anymore.
Roger Smith: Well... I'm sorry about that. What do you want me to do about it?
Michael Moore: Could you come up to Flint with us? Just for a few hours to look at the place to see what...
Roger Smith: [as he walks away] I cannot come to Flint. I'm sorry.
Michael Moore: [voice-over] Although most people in Flint were now too poor to afford a room at the Hyatt, the hotel allowed the public on opening day to ride the city's only escalator.
Michael Moore: [voice-over] My favorite was the exhibit sponsored by General Motors: a puppet auto worker singing a love song to the robot replacing him on the assembly line. The song was called "Me and My Buddy".
Michael Moore: How does it feel driving through Flint Michigan today and so many people being laid off...so many plants being shut down?
Kaye Lani Rae Rafko: How does it feel? I feel like a big supporter. That's how. Does it matter of what?
Michael Moore: I was kind of a strange child. My parents knew early on that something must have been wrong with me. I crawled backwards until I was two... It all began when my mother didn't show up at my first birthday party, 'cause she was off having my sister, and dad tried to cheer me up by letting me eat the whole cake. I knew then, there had to be more to life than this.