Michael Moore declares all-out war on capitalism


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Director Michael Moore now wants nothing less than the complete overthrow of the modern capitalist system.

From Reuters in Venice today:

Capitalism is evil. That is the conclusion U.S. documentary maker Michael Moore comes to in his latest movie ‘Capitalism: A Love Story,’ which premieres at the Venice Film Festival Sunday. Blending his trademark humor with tragic individual stories, archive footage and publicity stunts, the 55-year-old launches an all-out attack on the capitalist system, arguing that it benefits the rich and condemns millions to poverty. ‘Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil,’ the two-hour movie concludes. ‘You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy.’


Moore’s long-awaited film, which will open in L.A. and New York on Sept. 23 and nationwide on Oct. 2, is in part his post-mortem on the global financial system crash that began a year ago this month with the collapse of brokerage Lehman Bros.

But the film takes on much more than the usual cast of blood-sucking bankers to make the case against capitalism, delving into unrewarded worker productivity, vultures who make their living off foreclosed homes and horror stories from a privately owned juvenile correctional facility in Pennsylvania.

Time magazine’s Mary Corliss writes from Venice:

‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ does not quite measure up to Moore’s ‘Sicko’ in its cumulative power, and it is unlikely to equal ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ in political impact. In many ways, though, this is Moore’s magnum opus: the grandest statement of his career-long belief that big business is screwing the hard-working little guy while government connives in the atrocity. As he loudly tried to confront General Motors CEO Roger Smith in ‘Roger & Me’ in 1989, and pleaded through a bull horn to get officials at Guantanamo to give medical treatment to surviving victims of ‘9/11,’ so in ‘Capitalism’ he attempts to make a citizen’s arrest of AIG executives, and puts tape around the New York Stock Exchange building, declaring it a crime scene.

But Corliss also questions whether Moore’s call for a grass-roots revolution can make it past the theater exit door:

At the end Moore says, ‘I refuse to live in a country like this -- and I’m not leaving.’ But this call to arms demands more than a ringleader; it requires a ring, an engaged citizenry who are mad enough not to take it any more. That’s unlikely to happen. Moore’s films are among the top-grossing documentaries in history because they are pertinent populist entertainments. The question remains: Will ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ rouse the rabble to revolt? Or will audiences sit appreciatively through the movie, then go home and play the cat-in-the-toilet [YouTube] video?


More reviews of the film from Venice screenings are here.

-- Tom Petruno