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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Moore’s antics weaken ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’

    Filmmaker Michael Moore presents a strong, emotional argument against the excesses of deregulated capitalism in his new movie, “”Capitalism: A Love Story.”” The movie succeeds at giving human faces and voices to the numerous news stories buried under numbers we can barely conceive. It’s a shame Moore constantly butts in to provide unnecessary levity through his showboating tactics, which have become tiresome and trite at this point in his career.

    “”Capitalism”” marks a return home for Moore. Twenty years separate this release and his first film, “”Roger & Me.”” Moore takes the opportunity to wax nostalgic — which yields mixed results. As in previous efforts, he brings out the connections his hometown of Flint, Mich., has to the film’s main issue. This time, Flint is a base of operations for a company that serves foreclosure notices nationwide.

    It’s difficult to ignore the faces of parents and children barely holding back tears of bitterness and anger as they are evicted from their family homes, many of which have housed multiple generations. The Hacker family of Peoria, Ill., was evicted within less than the promised 30 days — a fact that surprised even the police officers serving the notice. It seems the family had failed to keep up with mortgage payments that increased with the bank’s interest rates. In a sad, ironic turn, the family was even hired by the bank to trash and burn their own belongings — a job normally given to a cleaning company. The Hackers were paid $1,000 for their work.

    Moore is more or less evenhanded in his criticisms: All U.S. presidents since Jimmy Carter are condemned for their part in deregulating businesses. Even Timothy Geithner is considered an incompetent financial manager in the movie — and this was before he became Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury.

    Much of Moore’s humor remains intact, unfortunately. It was once novel, at least for Moore, to mingle archival footage and songs from his childhood with his voiceover during one of his explanations. Now it feels overused and annoying, especially when the time and effort would have been better spent marshalling his facts and arguments against his critics.

    For a director whose films advocate democratic principles as an antidote to the poisons of unchecked capitalism, Moore needs to know when to just let the people speak for themselves.

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