Capitalism: A Love Story Review
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In-your-face filmmaker Michael Moore thinks it’s time for a revolution—and he’s using his new documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, to round up revolutionaries.

In Capitalism, Moore takes a look at our nation’s grim economy. He shows people struggling to get by, losing their jobs, and being thrown out of their homes. He also shows the other side of the coin: how the super-rich are taking advantage of the situation to become even richer. And he concludes that it’s time to start fighting back.

As usual, he makes some great points. Whether you agree with his call for a revolution or not, you’ll most likely agree that there is, in fact, a problem. People are losing their jobs and their homes while companies are using their multi-billion-dollar government bailouts to give their executives six-figure bonuses. There’s definitely something wrong with that picture.

Of course, there’s also something wrong with Moore’s approach. For instance, he points out all kinds of problems, but he doesn’t really offer any solutions. Okay…so Have-Nots revolt against the Haves. Then what? Moore shows one example of a democratically-run company (Isthmus Engineering of Madison, Wisconsin)—but, aside from that, he doesn’t suggest any alternatives. He doesn’t show examples of countries that have made his system work. In fact, he doesn’t really explain what his system is.

Meanwhile, Moore once again sets himself up in the middle of the story—as a sort of spokesman for the cause. He loves to put on his jeans and a grubby baseball cap and go in front of the camera, posing as the Average American Joe. He talks about his family, sharing childhood photographs and walking his father through the deserted grounds where he once worked. He even uses the priest who married him and his wife—as well as his friend, actor Wallace Shawn—as his “experts.”

The problem, however, is that, while there may be a battle between Us and Them, Michael Moore isn’t one of Us. Michael Moore’s documentaries make millions of dollars—so he probably isn’t exactly struggling financially. I’m guessing that he doesn’t worry about buying generic breakfast cereal because it’ll save him a few pennies. And, as far as I know, there’s no system in place such that—as with Isthmus, where the factory workers make the same as the CEO—Moore earns just as much as the guy who runs behind him with the camera. Really, if you ask me, it sounds like capitalism has been pretty good to Michael Moore. And that makes him a less than ideal spokesperson for a workers’ revolution.

Again, Moore makes some excellent points. But, as usual, he does so in the pushiest, sneakiest, and most insulting of ways. He uses every gimmick imaginable to push his own agenda while ignoring opposing points. It’s all black and white, good vs. evil, tearful factory worker vs. slick politician. Sure, his sloppy everyman schtick is sometimes entertaining, but the constant badgering and posing get old quickly.

If you enjoy Moore’s confrontational style, you’ll enjoy Capitalism, too. But Moore probably won’t win a whole lot of converts to his cause—because Capitalism: A Love Story feels every bit as scheming and manipulative as the system that he’s fighting against.

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