Michael Moore casts his gaze at the institution of Capitalism and the wreckage of bankruptcy, corruption, disillusionment and broken lives it’s left across America. The financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent propping up of the banking industry inform much of Capitalism: A Love Story’s outrage and Moore’s questioning of a system that’s devoted predominantly to fattening the wallets of CEOs, boardroom suits, bankers, and the politicians who serve as their functionaries in Congress. Moore’s overripe sentiments and silly showmanship — at one point, he enters a financial institution and declares he’s there to make a citizen’s arrest of the company’s CEO for pillaging Americans’ tax dollars and, shortly after, he covers the perimeter of the building in police tape — all work to undermine the inherent power of Moore’s subject. Such antics don’t fool anybody, and, as viewers, we become impatient, anxious for this activist-filmmaker to get past the gags and on to the heart of his story, and to what he does best: Bring into vivid relief profiles of ordinary, embattled Americans. Here, Moore singles out poor families evicted from their homes, striking union workers, and overworked airline pilots, creating portraits of lives ruined by the mortgage crisis and jobs threatened by companies eager to cut corners, while baring for view the nexus interconnecting America’s corporations and its government. By exposing the dirty underbelly of American Capitalism, Moore doesn’t necessarily tell us anything new, but it’s his gung-ho pursuit of accountability and compassion for working-class victims and crusaders that make his movies — and Capitalism: A Love Story among them — worthwhile inquiries into how we live today.
Directed by: Michael Moore
Written by: Michael Moore