Barack Obama Must See Michael Moore's New Movie (and So Must You)!
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Roger and Me was way ahead of the curve on the collapse of the auto-industry. Fahrenheit 9/11 was way ahead of the curve on the collapse of the house of cards the Bush administration used to lead us to war in Iraq. Sicko was way ahead of the curve on the collapse of the US health care system. And now, with his new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, he is riding the wave of the collapse of trust in our country's financial system.
The film, which opens in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday, and all across the country on October 2nd, is a withering indictment of the current economic order, covering everything from Wall Street's casino mentality to for-profit prisons, from Goldman Sachs' sway in Washington to the poverty-level pay of many airline pilots, from the tidal wave of foreclosures to the tragic consequences of runaway greed.
Watching the film, I felt like Michael had climbed inside my head, made a list of all the things that have been obsessing me for the last 12 months, and brought them horrifyingly to life. It's one thing to know these things are happening; it's another to see them happening in front of your eyes.
Right from the beginning -- after a funny set-up juxtaposing End of Empire Rome and Modern America -- Michael goes directly to the beating heart of the economic crisis, showing a hard-working, middle class family being evicted from their home. The knot in your stomach starts to tighten -- and the outrage starts to build. Watch for yourself in this exclusive clip:
And so it goes throughout the film, with Moore successfully walking a cinematic tightrope, alternating between a punch-to-the-solar-plexus critique of the status quo, heart-wrenching portraits of the suffering caused by the economic crisis, and laugh-out-loud social satire.
The film also turns the spotlight on some underreported gems: an internal Citibank report happily declaring America a "plutonomy," with 1 percent of the population controlling 95 percent of the wealth; an expose of "dead peasant" insurance policies that have companies cashing in on the untimely deaths of their employees; and amazing footage of FDR, found buried in a film archive and not seen in decades, calling for a Second Bill of Rights that would guarantee all Americans a useful job, a decent home, adequate health care, and a good education.
And Moore underlines the irony of Larry Summers being put in charge of fixing the crisis he helped create. A little like asking Kanye West to plan a Taylor Swift tribute.
While taking no prisoners, and directing equal doses of ire at Republicans and Democrats alike, the film also features a number of heroes, including bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren; Wayne County, Michigan Sheriff Warren Evans, who announced in February: "I cannot in clear conscience allow one more family to be put out of their home until I am satisfied they have been afforded every option they are entitled to under the law to avoid foreclosure"; and Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who took to the House floor and offered a radical solution to the foreclosure crisis: "So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don't you leave."
In the film, Michael describes capitalism as evil. I disagree. I don't think capitalism is evil. I think what we have right now is not capitalism.