Roger and Me
In the mid-eighties, General Motors decided to shut down its plants in the city of Flint, leaving thousands of people unemployed. Son of a GM worker, Michael Moore was eager to investigate the case. A brilliant satire on capitalism and a great example of activist filmmaking.
In 1989, Roger Smith was chairman of General Motors and Michael Moore was making his first documentary. Moore used his camera to pursue the man responsible for relocating 30,000 jobs to the cheap labour country of Mexico, leading to the complete ruin of Moore’s hometown, Flint.
While Smith takes to his heels every time Moore comes near, the filmmaker documents the devastating consequences of capitalism with equal doses of satire and bile. Humour turns out to be a highly effective weapon in the struggle against social injustice. Activist Moore doesn’t shy away from the use of clever editing and a loose interpretation of chronology to emphasise his case, wittily harvesting outrage from corporate and right-wing America.
Twenty-five years later, the film stock was in need of cleaning up (IFFR is showing the restored version), but the content and message are as appalling and relevant as ever.