Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Free Market Tribute

Capitalism: A Love Story (Michael Moore, 2009)
*** (A Must-See)

Documentary activist filmmaker Michael Moore`s Capitalism : A Love Story sets out to do a historical analysis on the current financial collapse. The aim being to create a cause and effect relationship in the United States of America from the Great Depression to the current Recession in regards to the effects and evolution of its socio-economic system.

The Franklyn D. Roosevelt administration (1933-1945) started in the Great Depression. A era of deprivations and rationing. In face of a turbulent landscape with social need insufficiencies president Roosevelt, in an important historical artifact, addressed the nation in a call for a “second Bill of Rights” proposing to insure the rights for a job, equitable pay and health care. The bill was never enacted.

In the post-war era, with the Harry S. Truman administration (1945-1953) and the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration (1953-1961), was the turning point for productivity, industrialization and development. These objective conditions were a result of the destroyed Eurasia infrastructure and accelerated government spending during the war. The destroyed German and Japanese nations were unable to participate in an international market which led to the booming American manual labor industry. The Marshall plan helped create new European countries progressive Bill of Rights. Germany and Japan reached an industrial level and started to have an innovative and competitive automobile industry. Their emergence on the international market had an adverse effect on the supply of American jobs. The negative effects of free-market capitalism took place which lead to General Motors cutting jobs. Flint, Michigan has been greatly devastated by the job loss of the closing of the General Motor factories which Mr. Moore explores further in his first documentary Roger & Me (1989).

Partly autobiographical, home videos of Mr. Moore`s childhood are woven throughout. Joyously bathing in the revolutionary and progressive spirit of capitalism of its day. Videos include his families touchstone moments of 1960 white middle class suburbia life. His father Frank Moore, an automotive assembly-line worker, was an employee at one of the now defunct manufacturing plants. Which he reflects upon with Michael when the two returns to its remains. He ruminates about the joys of working at the factory in a team.

The Ronald Regan era (1981-1989) shifted the American political-economic-social spectrum towards corporate sponsorship and reduced business regulations. In the third millennium the employment, wages, and healthcare of the working class has been decreasing and there is a 1% financial elite. To explore these relationships between individuals and society there are humanizing cases which he shows to represent the personal effects of larger economical and social shifts. There is an enduring concern for the difficulties of the working people and suffering population.

Capitalism : A Love Story is valuable in its ability to teach and inform. However it is guilty of facetious comparisons, manipulative filming, boorish antics, and an inability to come to a conclusion. Catholicism, through select preachers, also do some deriding. Mr. Moore opportunistically lavishes them with opportunities to scorn the most certainly atheistic Wall Street bankers. This gets tiring really quickly. Interest include underlining jobs of the lowly service workers which are created by capitalism. The positions include a carpenter who boards up houses, a sign salesman that specialized in foreclosures and guards that are always pushing Mr. Moore aside. The psychological implications of their occupations are interesting. Ultimately, a criticism of the profit system is still noteworthy at any cost and this documentary is sure to inform and broaden one’s mind to the context of the world we live in. It is a great opposition to inferior popular media coverage and press publications which regrettably dominate our culture.–David Davidson

(World Exchange Plaza, Empire 7 Cinema, 111 Albert Street)

No comments: