Michael Moores Capitalism: A Love Story is like most love stories sometimes uplifting, passionate, funny, truthful, but ultimately heartbreaking. Moore is a master at melding all of these emotions into what is, so far, easily the movie of the year.
*Warning may contain spoilers*
When I heard Michael Moore was going to premiere Capitalism: A Love Story in Pittsburgh; I thought to myself, wow I would love to go. But, since I had zero information about how to obtain tickets, I went back to my normal routine aka work. One of the reasons why I love my brother Paradise Gray (The Arkitech of X-Clan for those that dont know) is that he has this New York attitude that translates into, If its important I should be there and I refuse to take no for an answer. So we headed down to the David Lawrence Convention Center with no press passes or tickets and no idea if they would even let us in. As we approached the door Paradise said, God got us. We will get in and low and behold we saw our fellow One HOOD member, Mikhail Pappas, who is also an aid to State Senator James Ferlo! Mikhail took us directly into the event and showed us where they were giving out the tickets. Yep, God is Good.
After Michael Moore gave an impassioned press conference where he spoke about how he shed tears after he voted for President Obama, he proceeded to lead a health care reform march (which we really ended up leading) through downtown Pittsburgh and to the theater. We took our seats in the back and after introducing the movie Michael Moore came and sat in the row directly in front of us (very surreal).
Trailer for Capitalism: A Love Story (Story Continues After Trailer)
The movie begins with security video of people robbing banks and leads right into a story of the banks robbing us. A small town family, the victim of predatory lending, having to move out of a farm that has been in their family for generations (a prevailing theme throughout the movie). There are so many shocking moments in Capitalism: A Love Story its hard to touch on them all, from airline pilots making so little they have to get food stamps to big companies like Walmart taking out insurance polices on their employees and collecting at the expense of the employees family. Moore even shows how prisons for profits resulted in two judges being jailed for receiving over 2 million dollars in kickbacks and thousands of juveniles improperly incarcerated right in my home state of Pennsylvania!
Moore is at his best when breaking down current events in a historical context and its no different here when he begins to ask the question, Would Jesus be a capitalist? Hilarity ensues when Moore puts Jesus in the role of these current so call compassionate conservatives who seem to think its godly to deny basic rights to the poor. It also crystallizes one of Moores main points in the movie, that Capitalism is inherently evil, (a notion which I agree with 100%). Moore is extremely convincing showing example after example of regular every day hard working Americans being raped at the hands of the rich, and some damning internal documents directly from Citigroups own reports.
This isnt just a movie its a rallying cry to take action. Moore wants to make us mad! And you cant help to be pissed off when watching how the big banks used fear, money and influence to push through the $700 billion dollar bailout. The only Congressman that had the balls to stand up to Wall Street and President Bush was a Congresswoman from Ohio named Marcy Kaptur. Moore also wants to wake us up to the fact that we have the power to make change, which he brilliantly parallels with never-before-seen footage of FDR outlining a Second Bill of Rights and the improbable rise and election of Barack Obama. But, even then, Moore shows how President Obamas biggest campaign contributor was the bank that received the most financial gain from the bail out .Goldman Sachs.
Michael Moore said that Capitalism: A Love Story was the end result of his 20 years of movie making from Rodger and Me to Bowling for Columbine to Fahrenheit 911 to Sicko. This is arguably his best work and comes at a time where progressives are in desperate need of a battle call and President Obama is fighting for his political life. If we dont take Moore up on his offer and join him in making America what it ideally is supposed to be, we will continue to be the battered wife in this abusive relationship. Capitalism we need a divorce!
Jasiri X is a Hip-Hop artist and community activist. He can be found at twitter.com/jasirix.