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A Love Story

Oh Michael Moore, why do you have to be such a rabble rouser? It seems like every movie you do is controversial and tackles heavy subjects in American politics. With Roger & Me you took on the corporations, Bowling for Columbine was about Gun Control, Fahrenheit 911-the war on terror, Sicko-the health care industry and now with your latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story you go out and take on one of the biggest issues of your career, the economy.

What are you trying to do Mike? Can’t you just leave well enough alone? Or are you seriously acting like the Beatles song and saying you want a revolution?

Say what you want about Michael Moore. Love him or despise him, one thing’s always apparent: he gets people talking. Usually a standard mouthpiece of the liberal left, Moore mostly plays the part of scapegoat for right-wing conservatives, and for the most part it’s deservedly so.

However with his latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore does something unique, at least for him, and speaks more from the middle. And by middle, we’re mostly talking about the middle class that has been decimated and beaten by the current economic landscape. Speaking for the common man is nothing new to Michael Moore, but Capitalism feels like his most non-partisan effort yet.

He’s not necessarily going after the Republicans, and he isn’t necessarily hailing the Clintons as the second coming. The antagonists in this film aren’t any politicians; they’re the banks and Wall Street and the major financial institutions that just last year were begging for a government hand-out. Moore is searching for the cause of our economic downfall of the last few years and he makes a good case for what he’s found.

Though his films are usually filled with arch humor, Capitalism is probably Moore’s least funny movie, especially when it comes down to the stories of the different families' plights he documents. These are salt of the earth types, real American families, and they all discuss how they’ve been effected by years of unregulated greed and financial misconduct.

Moore also expands on how good things used to be and how that since things have changed that it might now be impossible to change back.

Capitalism is a finely crafted expose and it quite possibly could be Moore’s best work yet. Whereas Sicko was slow and blaming, Capitalism is still long, but just full of information, heartbreak and anger. Looking at it from just a film-making standpoint, taking all politics out of the piece, it’s a strong, powerful documentary that creatively makes its points and moves smartly.

It’s also very personal, probably Moore’s most personal journey since 1989’s Roger & Me. Featuring lots of old, super 8 film of a young Michael and his family, Moore opens up and shows that even though he’s a successful film maker he and his family also bear the scars of Capitalism’s grasp.

Capitalism is a jarring film, one that’s intended to make the average American angry and upset. In it, Moore once again makes strong claims against Wall Street and how greed, money, corruption and power have taken over the very spirit of Democracy. It’s also that spirit that he’s trying to rekindle inside every average American who can only sit back and watch to instead stand up and revolt and he evens shows what happens to a family who does just that.

The film is not without fault. While Moore touches on the responsibilities of the government and the financial institutions, he fails to focus much on personal responsibilities. One could argue that when seeing certain personal stories of some of the people in this documentary, that Moore talks very little about the people’s personal responsibility. Maybe some of the problems these people are facing are of their own doing. However, if there’s a person with any compassion for humanity, they’d have a hard time dismissing the American family who lose the legacy farm in foreclosure.

So Michael Moore, it looks like you did it again. You got America talking again and this time hopefully they’re thinking, too. Except this time you might have more people listening to you, considering that when it comes down to money and the bad economy, it doesn’t just affect Democrats but Republicans as well.

Capitalism: A Love Story is a strong movie and a powerful call to arms and like that Beatles’ song, you say you want a revolution and with this movie, who knows Mike, you just might get it.

Lon Lopez

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