Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1989. Dog Eat Dog Films, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Michael Moore. Cinematography by Chris Beaver, John Prusak, Kevin Rafferty, Bruce Schermer. Produced by Michael Moore. Film Editing by Jennifer Beman White, Wendey Stanzler.
Back before he was famous for taking on American gun culture and the president himself, Michael Moore was a complete unknown who stumbled into the world of filmmaking with this groundbreaking documentary. Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan is the film’s subject, a town rendered practically lifeless after GM closes countless car manufacturing plants (preferring the cheaper labour in Mexico) and laying off thousands of workers. The damage to the town is irreparable, plunging Flint into a mess of unemployment, a steadily climbing crime rate and an overall sense of doom that is not improved by the unsuccessful attempts to turn the town into a tourist destination. While looking into all these factors, our on-camera director is doing everything he can to get an interview with General Motors CEO Roger Smith himself, but finds himself blocked at every possible opportunity. Moore’s work on this film was accused of being subjective and biased, which is probably more true than not, but it’s also some of the most energetic and inspiring documentary work ever seen.
Toronto International Film Festival: 1989