Capitalism – A Love Story Review: A Doomed Romance
CAPITALISM – A LOVE STORY: Saturday 22nd May, Channel 4, 10.15pm ALERT ME
Having tackled gun violence, the Bush administration and the failings of the United States healthcare program, Michael Moore’s latest political film-essay focuses on the flaws of Capitalism in the wake of recent financial melt-downs.
The central thesis is not a terribly complex one: it’s all Reagan’s fault and if Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights had been enacted then none of this would have happened. The tone is one of anger and moral outrage expressed through sarcasm or unsubtle, often poorly judged, juxtaposition.
Moore makes his argument using the techniques he’s honed in from previous ventures such as Bowling For Columbine and his television series The Awful Truth. Continuing stunts such as cordoning off a bank using crime-scene tape, or asking the public questions designed to prompt airs of indignation, will appear familiar to those already acquainted with Moore’s cannon. Depending on your attitude towards the director these will either please or irritate in equal measure.
There are undoubtedly moving moments in the film: the image of a family being forcibly evicted will induce waves of vitriolic rage in even the most dispassionate viewer. Hearing an estate agent rave about the ever expanding foreclosure market and the resulting windfall he’s enjoyed as a consequence of it will encourage a similar reaction.
Despite these strong emotions it is unlikely that anyone will be heard responding to Moore’s call to arms at the film’s conclusion as he urges us to join him in ‘action’. Given the current wave of anti-socialist sentiments resulting from Obama’s campaign for healthcare reform, it is unlikely that a marginal and galvanizing figure like Moore is the solution to the ills of an economic institution.