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Money Talks: Michael Moore asks, "Dude, where's my money?" 

Michael Moore asks, "Dude, where's my money?"

click to enlarge film_captialism.jpg
Michael Moore loves America, but America does not always love Michael Moore. After the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, public opinion of the liberal filmmaker took a downturn. Republicans have good reason to hate him, but the attitude of Democrats is baffling. They claim to dislike his oversimplification, his manipulation of emotions and facts and his bombastic personality. Conservatives have long used these methods to influence the public with great success - all Moore does is play them at their own highly effective game.

Moore, in a way, has been a liberal in Republican's clothing for the last decade - he looks like a Republican and he sounds like a Republican. He takes radical ideas, mixes them up using the conservative's recipe, and makes them easy to swallow. Capitalism: A Love Story contains some very radical ideas. Moore argues that capitalism is evil, that the US is run like a corporation and that big business holds more power than politicians. He started making the film before the crash, and although the recession has produced a few more doubters of the American Dream you don't have to look far to see that the ideal is still alive.

Moore's ensuing evidence is picked expertly and he makes a valuable point when he acknowledges that many members of the dubiously labeled "middle class" truly believe that if they just work hard enough they too will be rich, rich, rich. Moore flatters his audience, and his detractors, by saying that we are all mere pawns and entirely capable of taking back the power.

This issue is about democracy, not socialism, Moore assures. In contrast to most of the movies made on his side of the fence, which seem to end with a message of doom and a shrug of the shoulders, Moore's films always end positively with a rallying cry for grassroots activism. In the past, Moore has even taken to telling us exactly how to go about our rebellion with unfailingly practical, down-to-earth advice.

In Capitalism, Moore displays some startling facts, including how big corporations like Wal-Mart are taking life insurance policies out on their employees and collecting millions upon death. He shows us a privately run, for-profit juvenile detention center in Pennsylvania and the judges that were paid off to keep it full of teenagers. It is a shame that, due to his notoriety, Moore can no longer get access to the men in the penthouse office suites.

It's also a shame that liberals spend more time in-fighting than battling for change, that they are too busy hating Michael Moore to learn from him. He's playing the game, while they're all searching for the rules.

Capitalism: A Love Story ★★★★★

Written and directed by Michael Moore. Rated R


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