Movie Review: Capitalism: A Love StoryPublished by Clay Cane on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 9:00 am.
Review: Iconic filmmaker, Michael Moore, breaks down the tragic history and doomed result of capitalism in America. In classic Moore style, he uses vintage footage, sarcasm and campy stunts to drive his point of greed, corruption and profit, right to the gut.
Summary: Michael Moore is the Obama of documentarians. He has just as many haters as lovers and tries to bring forth change while getting crucified for it. This is no different in Capitalism: A Love Story, a sharp documentary that is definitely one of the most important films of the year, regardless of its lack of solutions.
Moore uses the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis to unravel the seedy story of America being run as a corporation and how citizens pay the high price. There are tragic scenes of Americans being evicted from their homes. Disturbing stories of corporations benefiting from the death of their employees (dead peasants insurance). Personal accounts of people who are overworked and underpaid, but still expected to do their job effortlessly (think airlines!). In each story, Moore humanizes the consequences of words like ‘wealth’, ‘power’, ‘deceit’ and the ‘elite’. Despite your politics, Moore plays right to your heart and tattoos the constant question, “How could this happen in America?”
Capitalism is not as specific as Sicko or Fahrenheit 9/11, therefore, sometimes the story is so broad that you can never fully focus. It would be similar to a documentary called Racism: A Love Story. This does not mean the film isn’t excellent, but in comparison to the flawlessness of his other documentaries you aren’t left with the same emotional punch.
Yes, capitalism is a broad topic. Any filmmaker could inadvertently morph a doc about capitalism into a boring movie you would sleep through in your college economics class. Don’t fret, Michael Moore is similar to the cool professor who teaches complex theories without boring you, and most importantly, have it make sense. Moore strips away the academics and makes his documentary palatable to every American who has felt swindled by their so-called democracy.
Overall, Moore tells his audience, “This can happen to you. This will happen to you.” Critics will argue the Flint, Mich., native is using the same scare tactics that he accuses the media and politicians of using in regards to war and supposed “bailouts.” However, I would argue that Moore is lifting the veil; if you like what you see, you will get more of it. If you don’t — do something. Despite some Web sites scrolling in the credits, I’m not sure what we can do. Moore says we need to change, but I just don’t know how.
Toward the end, he insinuates the system must be destroyed and built from scratch. But, what will destroy us? Do we want to go through destruction? Isn’t this the same conversation that newly revolutionized college students purport and abandon when they graduate with $100,000 in student loans? Revolution is often a middle or upper class liberal value. It’s easier for millionaires to demand change.
Whatever the case, this is another thought-provoking flick from Michael Moore.
Capitalism: A Love Story opens in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 23, and nationwide on Friday, October 2nd.