Michael Moore on God, Faith, and Capitalism

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Tomorrow night, I’ll be interviewing Michael Moore at a premiere screening of his new film, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” It comes 20 years after his “Roger & Me” changed the rules for documentaries in every category. He did not pretend to be balanced; he did not hesitate to be irreverent, even laugh-out-loud funny, and — related to the first two points — he shattered box office records. “Roger & Me” focused on the devastation in Moore’s home town of Flint, Michigan, in an economic downturn that seems modest by today’s standards. And Flint shows up again, in a twist that will give the audience goosebumps. Here is Moore on CNN this week. I’ll report on our session on Wednesday.

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7 Replies to “Michael Moore on God, Faith, and Capitalism”

  1. Michael Moore is a raving CAPITALIST. Only in the Capitalist USA could a high school educated filmmaker become a millionaire. He’s too stupid to credit Capitalism and its economic freedom with his own success, but God bless him anyway.
    But it’s funny to watch Moore respond to Blitzer when it is pointed out that his own success is made possible by and through Capitalism. What a hypocrite Moore is to tear down the very system that allows people to succeed as he did.
    Capitalism is the most godly Christian economic system known to humankind so far. Sure, we can improve it, but socialism and communism are doom for the masses living in any country. (Though I note that communism is the system of choice for the world’s dictators!)

  2. Thanks, C! As you see in the interview, Moore acknowledges the benefits of capitalism and does not advocate socialism or communism. His title is not sarcastic, and it is the implementation and abuse of capitalism he objects to, not the theory. And of course some people might say you don’t need dictators when the U.S. government operates at times like a wholly owned subsidiary of global corporations. I look forward to seeing what Moore has to say tomorrow and hope you see the movie and let me know what you think of it.

  3. Nell,
    This film has me a little worried. I think a lot of Moore’s points in this one may be very important, but given his history and “one-sidedness,” I’m afraid the good points may get lost in his forceful tone.
    I also think he has alienated many in the audience with his past films and they may write this off before ever watching it.
    Here’s hoping he brings some valid points to light in a way that hits home with a lot of audiences.
    I also think you can flourish in the current capitalistic system and be critical of it. It is, of course, impossible to tell with Moore how sincere he is or if he’s just like other filmmakers: cashing in on “hot button” topics.
    However, I do believe Moore started making his documentaries because he was passionate about the subject matter and getting rich was a by-product. If that is still true, is hard to say.
    Tom

  4. Wolf Blitzer (as well as some of your commenters) seem way off base to me. Blitzer wants Michael Moore to define capitalism and socialism, or to tell Blitzer what country has a better economic system. Blitzer has spent too much time interviewing legislators and doesn’t understand the different function performed by artists.
    Michael Moore is a guy with a high school education; you would not want him writing laws or teaching graduate seminars in economics. However, he has succeeded in identifying grotesque situations, horrible miscarriages of justice, lives that are collapsing in misery around us and he puts a human face on them. He rubs our noses in them. Where else are you going to encounter people evicted from their family farm, or people with little children living in the back of a truck? How much time would you normally spend talking to factory workers who had been robbed of their pensions by bankers if Moore didn’t do it? It’s a cinch Wolf Blitzer and CNN won’t do it. Moore has the energy to pursue these horror stories, and a dramatic flair for presenting them. That’s what he does. That’s all he does. But an artist with a social conscience plays an important function in society. John Steinbeck didn’t have to explain how he would amend the relevant statutes when he wrote the Grapes of Wrath.
    The problem with being an articulate senator or a banker or TV commentator is that you develop a vocabulary and a smooth demeanor that enable you to rationalize anything to yourself. I think if you see this movie, you walk out saying, “I don’t care about any of the rationalizations, I don’t care about why it is difficult to craft legislation in this field, I don’t care about how lobbyists are entitled to their first amendment rights — I grant that all of that is true, but it is just plain wrong for these people to be treated this way.

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