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Roger and Me by Michael Moore

The ax is aimed at everyone, especially the CEO of GM, Smith. Moore’s camera is in-your-face cinema as he crashes Smith’s office, his yacht club, his athletic club, and he even finds his way into a GM annual stockholder meeting before his microphone is cut dead. Smith nails his own coffin as he comes off like a real-life Scrooge reading A Christmas Carol in a scene where he is the personification of heartless capitalist greed and callousness. Other damning indictments of corporate America come from scenes wherein Reverend Robert Schuller (who was paid thousands of dollars to lift the spirits of the depressed of Flint) tells the unemployed “Tough times don’t last; tough people do.” Just as absurd and even more damaging is Anita Bryant’s Republican-based message that “You have today. Today’s a new day” and her less-than-stirring to the unemployed rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Barnouw comments that the skillful use of cinema verite created more respect for the interview as a tool and helped evolve the essay-documentary. However, the personal view of the author breaks through the various voices we are privy to during the course of the film, even though Moore was accused of portraying the film as objective truth when he fudged some elements of the film to further drive home his anti-corporate polemic. As author Charles Warren (262) comments on the style of the filmmaker and his documentary:

It is as though the filmmaker hooked us by offering himself as bait in order to draw us into his anticorporate capitalist sermon. The factual distortions of Roger and Me, its cavalier manipulations of documentary verisimilitude in the service of political polemic, have been analyzed at great length. I still find the film winning, up to a point, and do not mind its ‘unfairness’ to the truth, as I do its abandonment of what had seemed a very promising essay-film. Yet perhaps the two are related: Moore’s dec...

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Roger and Me by Michael Moore. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:47, September 21, 2017, from
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