Why do we go to the movies? To be entertained and informed. Movies can capture America’s ethical or moral values of the moment, revealing who we are as individuals and as a society. With “Roger & Me” about the collapse of our auto industry, “Bowling for Columbine” about gun control, “Fahrenheit 9/11” about the military-industrial complex, and “Sicko” about how the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies are dictating governmental decisions about healthcare, docu-dramatist Michael Moore has shown an uncanny ability to be ‘way ahead of the curve of public awareness.
Now Moore delivers an incontrovertible indictment of our country’s financial system – from the influence of Wall Street’s greed and Washington’s corruption to the tidal wave of foreclosures. He begins his denunciation by juxtaposing the fall of the Roman Empire with contemporary America, cutting to the human cost of our current economic crisis: a hard-working family evicted from their middle-class home. Courting controversy, he tries to make a citizen’s arrest of AIG executives and puts yellow Crime Scene tape around the New York Stock Exchange building.
Did you know that Citibank refers to our “plutonomy” with one-percent of the population controlling 95% of the wealth? That there are “Dead Peasant” insurance policies so companies profit from their employees’ untimely deaths? That many airline pilots earn poverty-level pay? And that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for a Second Bill of Rights to guarantee all Americans a good education, a useful job, a decent home and adequate healthcare? Is that socialism? You decide.
Do I agree with all of Moore’s conclusions? No. I don’t believe capitalism is evil. Our current economic crisis is capitalism-gone-wrong because our free market lacks a moral foundation, which is why we’ve bailed out some failing companies and not others. But that’s only my opinion.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Capitalism: A Love Story” is a 10, because it will make YOU think and form your own conclusions. Dissent. Argue. Protest. Write President Obama. Just don’t descend into apathy. That’s Michael Moore’s ‘must see’ message.