Opening 12 Nov 2009
With his trademark subtlety, Michael Moore introduces his take on capitalism by juxtaposing scenes from an old movie about the fall of the Roman Empire with more current events in the United States. The film opens on the 20th anniversary of his first feature film Roger & Me, where he highlighted the impact that General Motors made on his hometown of Flint, Michigan, by closing their auto-manufacturing plant. Moore returns to Flint twenty years later, a town that never recovered from the auto industry job losses, and it hurts to find people there working in the mortgage foreclosure business.
Filming on Captialism began in 2008 before the made-in-America financial crisis crashed world markets and the billion dollar bailouts paid Wall Street bonuses, but Moore nimbly jumped at the chance to cross Wall Street. Goldman Sachs, Congress, U.S. Treasury and presidents come under fire as contributing to the economic meltdown that turned the dreams of millions of ordinary Americans into nightmares. For much of the film, Moore is the narrator. He tells stories like how a group of employees kept their business from being shut down and how neighbors kept a family from eviction after foreclosure. He attacks those he finds responsible with capitalism as the root of many evils. Even Jesus would not support capitalism proposes Moore. Finally Moore cannot resist a return to center stage and with cameras running, he tries to get into firms who received bailout billions to get the money back for the U.S. Treasury, and he again stalks members of Congress for comments. As he unrolls crime scene tape along Wall Street, Moore wraps up his story of a misguided love of capitalism in America without any answers, but with the hope that the American people will leave the theatre with “popcorn and pitchforks.” (Mary Nyiri)