Capitalism: A Love Story
Winter 2010 Documentary series
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:00pm
Directed by Michael Moore
Screenplay by Michael Moore
Rated PG ·
Michael Moore has a gift for maintaining two things that people easily lose in times of crisis: perspective and a sense of humour. In 1989, American workers were reeling from Reagan-era policies that favoured the wealthy, undermined the middle class and demonstrated outright contempt for the poor. That was when Moore arrived with his directorial debut Roger & Me, which deployed humour like a secret weapon. Later he went on to new heights as a provocateur with Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko.
It is now the twentieth anniversary of his debut, and the gap between rich and poor has only grown worse. Every day brings fresh news of layoffs, foreclosures and financial scandal. The desperate conditions in Flint, Michigan, portrayed in Roger & Me have been replicated across America. Back then, Moore’s target was General Motors. Today it’s the whole system. And he still hasn’t lost his sense of humour.
In Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore is working at the top of his game. The film explores a taboo question: what price does America pay for its love of capitalism? Years ago, that love seemed so innocent. Capitalism meant productivity and security. Now, as financial institutions run amok and families lose their savings, the American dream is looking more like a nightmare. Moore takes us into the lives of ordinary people whose worlds have been turned upside down by the economy, and goes looking for explanations, paying careful attention to the 2008 bank bailout that occurred during the waning days of the Bush administration. Was this really the best hope for America?
Moore has an established knack for finding a fresh angle on familiar headlines. Even in an age of excess, he has the ability to surprise. But for all the harsh realities that he uncovers, his films have a way of empowering audiences. By drawing communities together in theatres, he reminds us that there is strength in our numbers.