Michael Moore's: "Roger & Me" - A Sociological Film Review
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Introduction: Purpose of the Film
This documentary is written, directed and produced by Michael Moore and is about the social repercussions of capitalism as well as corporate and government issues that conflict with the basic needs of people and their families. Moore takes a liberal humanistic look at the consequences of General Motors closing down several auto plants in Flint, Michigan in the late 1980's and what can happen when a city is almost completely reliant on a single industry that shuts down or moves away. Moore also looks at the failure of Flint city officials to reverse the effects of the closures with trends like Auto World which had little effect (Moore, 1989).
From Michael Moore's perspective, which I tend to share, GM owes Flint some respect and help and needs to get them back on their feet. He believes that American corporations should have a responsibility to its employees to take care of them and do what is good for the whole of the country, not just their shareholders and board members. He has a very humanistic approach to the topic, but I often ask myself, isn't Michael Moore himself also exploiting the people of Flint by profiting from their pain and suffering as well?
It was important to me to find an answer to this and collect some information about Michael Moore as a person that would be relevant to this paper. What has he done with his fame and fortune? What has he given back to Flint, if anything? I came up with some very uplifting answers. Michael Moore made this documentary using his unemployment insurance checks totaling $100/week (Windsor, 2004). Moore also made a deal with Warner Brothers to be the distributor only after they met all of his demands. His demands included the paying of the rent for two years for the families shown in the movie as well as free tickets for the movie for anyone with an unemployment card (Arseneau, 2003). This speaks volumes to me regarding the positive motives of Michael Moore and his apparently genuine affection for his home town of Flint.