“Capitalism: A Love Story” reels in the ire

Michael Moore’s latest makes capitalism look like crapitalism.

Moore wants his money back
PHOTO COURTESY DOG EAT DOG FILMS

Moore wants his money back PHOTO COURTESY DOG EAT DOG FILMS

Tony Libera

âÄúCapitalism: A Love StoryâÄù DIRECTED BY: Michael Moore RATED: R SHOWING: Area theaters Say what you will about Michael Moore, but the man knows how to make a documentary. Twenty years removed from his directorial debut, Moore continues to produce films that are so poignant, so revealing and often times so enraging that they consistently polarize audiences year in and year out. His latest film, âÄúCapitalism: A Love StoryâÄù follows in this long tradition of division and exasperation, capturing the destructive effects of MooreâÄôs latest adversary: capitalism. MooreâÄôs assault starts off with a montage of robbery footage set to Iggy PopâÄôs version of âÄúLouie Louie ,âÄù then moves into a clever scene that juxtaposes the fall of Rome with modern America. At this point no one seems sure how to feel: some laugh, some groan, some sit in silent anticipation. Soon enough, MooreâÄôs nasally drip comes out of the speakers and he warns the audience about the ills of capitalism, hinting, with a lack of subtlety, at our impending demise. Now, of course MooreâÄôs critics and proponents of the free market economy will pan the notion, but Moore backs up his claims with surprisingly strong evidence and exhibits some real live victims of capitalism. This, in the biz, is what they call pathos, and Moore is a master at its cultivation. We witness families being evicted from their homes, we get insight from kids sentenced to juvenile detention by corrupt capitalist judges and we hear about companies taking out âÄúDead PeasantâÄù life insurance policies on their own employees and naming themselves the beneficiaries. The groans increase noticeably and waves of anger wash over the crowd with each new insight. Moore provides some fun facts about how the cost of living âÄî along with everything from anti-depressant sales to incarceration numbers âÄî have steadily risen while the national minimum wage hasnâÄôt increased since the 1980s (until 2007). He even points out how people in the highest levels of government are cooperating with the same banks that are screwing over millions of Americans. At this point in the film, things are feeling heavy. Every new detail just adds to the dejection and the viewer begins to wonder if thereâÄôs an upside to any of this, a potential pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Suddenly, Moore straps into an armored car and attempts to take back AmericansâÄô money from Goldman Sachs . He even tries to arrest some CEOâÄôs, failing miserably and comically. Then we hear some tales of people who have risen above the strife imposed by capitalism and soon feelings of empowerment abound. In the end, MooreâÄôs film provides some semblance of a solution, but derision, as usual, takes the forefront. Argentinean director and renowned film theorist Fernando Solanas once said of his own documentary âÄúMemoria del saqueoâÄù that it contributes to an urgent discussion in his country and aspires to prove that another world is possible. While âÄúCapitalism: A Love StoryâÄù provides facts and sets the stage for an increasingly necessary discussion, it ultimately fails to provide us with a viable solution.