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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

By D.E.Levine

Director: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Cast: Thora Birch, William Black, Jimmy Carter, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Baron Hill, Marcy Kaptur, John McCain, Michael Moore, Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wallace Shawn, Elizabeth Warren, George W. Bush, Nancy Davis, Martin Luther King, Helmut Kohl, Bela Lugosi, Barack Obama, Robert Powell, Joseph Stalin
Producers: Anne Moore and Michael Moore
Co-producers: Carl Deal and Tia Lessin
Executive Producers: Kathleen Glynn, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
Original Music: Jeff Gibbs
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Documentary

This is definitely one of Michael Moore's best films. Of course, capitalism is a hot topic but it's actually the banking industry and it's meltdown within the last year that is Moore's focus.

Mixing home movies of himself as a child visiting Wall Street with archival footage from the 1950s extolling free enterprise, Moore mixes in interviews with individuals currently caught in the mortgage debacle and losing their homes and a real estate agent who finds bargains in foreclosed homes.

Moore is visible onscreen throughout the film as chief character and investigator while also being the film narrator. We learn that his father was a dedicated employee in the automotive industry as Moore explains the relevancy of the banking crisis to the present-day problems of the auto business. In a subdued moment, father and son revisit the site that once housed the factory where his father worked.

There are several ill-fated attempts to gain entrance to various financial institutions and banks that survived the crash and is turned back by security guards.

Moore also unsuccessfully tries to find a banker who can explain derivatives and is met with the response "Stop Making Films!"

He interviews members of Congress and suggests the $700 billion bailout was legalized bank robbery engineered by Goldman Sachs and Henry Paulson and run through Congress just prior to elections.

Fascinating to watch, we must remember that as Moore leads us through his argument that there be more cooperatively owned businesses where people make collective decisions and share the wealth, he is manipulating some of the facts for his own purposes.

Claiming "I refuse to live in a country like this and I'm not leaving," Moore doesn't solve the economic problems but shows his disgust for corporate America and its devastating effect on the lives of ordinary people.