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Capitalism - A Love Story

Released

Latest Home Video

Mar 09, 2010

MPAA Rating:

R


Run Time:

120

Director

Michael Moore

Cast

Michael Moore

Studio

2009 Overture Films

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Capitalism - A Love Story.

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Reviewed by

Overall B-
ViolenceB
SexA
LanguageD
Drugs/AlcoholB+
Run Time120

Making the Grades

Michael Moore makes his socialist leanings quite clear in his latest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story. The controversial filmmaker also introduces a religious element to this script, going so far as to consult local priests and parish leaders about the moral value of capitalism while putting words in the mouth of the Christian deity Jesus Christ.

To his credit, the economic system has its problems. Job losses, bankruptcies and the number of working poor are soaring. Those who contribute heavily to the welfare of our society—teachers, police officers, emergency personnel, pilots and health care workers—are dismally underpaid while too many government and political officials appear to be cozying up with the boards and directors of leading bank and financial institutions. But to chalk all of the country’s economic woes up to capitalism seems rather strong. (He easily glosses over the fact that Canada and the United Kingdom, both countries with more socialistic policies, are also facing some of these same troubling situations.)

To show how bad things are from a “history-repeats-itself perspective”, Moore begins by comparing the current crisis with the Roman Empire shortly before its demise. He parades viewers into the gilded lobbies of some of the country’s most prominent financial buildings, or at least tries to before being stopped by beefy security officers. He contrasts those luxurious edifices and the trading floor of Wall Street with endless shots of abandoned, decaying homes, razed businesses and evicted families. He also addresses the devious business practices of major companies that take life insurance plans out on their unknowing employees, and others that set up for-profit organizations, milking the public tax system for millions of dollars.

Some of the claims are shocking (which they are meant to be) while others are so one-dimensional it makes viewers wonder if they have the whole truth or just Michael Moore’s version of truth. If nothing else, these allegations will spark debate. (Discussions in this documentary become heated, emotional and include several sexual expletives along with other infrequent profanities.)

After belaboring his case against the capitalist love story, Moore focuses on a love fest of his own with U.S. President Barack Obama and the concept of socialism. While Moore lauds Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights (that include among the promises, a good job, a decent home, adequate health care, and protection from economic fears for every American), he avoids addressing many of the issues that have led to the current crisis from a grassroots level. Pointing a finger of blame squarely in the direction of big business and government, he shows families who have lost homes and livelihoods because of job layoffs, health issues and other circumstances out of their control. What he doesn’t tackle are the individual Americans who have made their own avaricious or unwise economic decisions.

Perhaps what Moore should have condemned are greed and corruption. They are the human vices at the root of the issue and unfortunately, they can surface in any economic system.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Capitalism - A Love Story.

How financially literate do you think most Americans are? What kinds of attitudes about wealth drive people to take high-risk loans or become involved in get rich quick schemes? Who should take or share the responsibility for the economic crisis?

Moore lauds the governments of Japan, Germany and Italy (among others) for providing what he feels are basic economic rights? What issues do these countries face that Moore does not include in his documentary?

Moore addresses many of the negative aspects of capitalism. What are the positive (if any) features of it? Is capitalism really evil? Is socialism really an ideal solution? How does greed and corruption play into capitalism? Can they have the same impact on socialism, communism and dictatorships? What would you propose as a solution for the economy?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Coarse Language.
AB PG Coarse Language.
MB PG Language May Offend.
ON PG Mature Theme.
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Capitalism - A Love Story...

Release Date: 9 March 2010
Capitalism: A Love Story on DVD and Blu-ray features:
- Over 80 minutes of deleted scenes, extended interviews, and featurettes.
Capitalism: A Love Story on Blu-ray also includes:
- A bonus featurette
- Digital copy

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Issy says: Nov. 14, 2009

If this exellent movie in the tradition of the great american ‘muck rakers’ such as Izzy Stone, Upton Sinclair and George Selges whose ability to publish what was already almost always on the public record was a testimony to to democracy and free speech in the USA. Michael Moore’s movie is a diatribe leavened with some excellent homely humor like putting police ‘crime scene’ tape around a bank building.
I had not heard the story about the two judges who were bribed to sentence youngsters to incarceration in a privately owned jail on the basis of incredibly brief hearings.To behave in such a blatantly unacceptable way says worrying thing about that community.When the two judges go on trial, the court transcripts will be fascinating to read. Perhaps the basis of another Moore movie.
In his eagerness to gain Audiences (and he does!) he follows a formula which includes a number of his own ‘stunts’ which are usually very funny. I was struck by some of the archival clips which were new to me: especially F.D. Roosevelt’s speech suggesting new constitutional rights which today would probably be described as ‘Human Rights’, how tragic to watch this magnificent dignified man knowing that a few months later he would be dead.

A jarring note for me were the short interviews with a man I recognised as an actor I’d seen in B-movies years ago. It should have been made clear that he was an actor and what his role in was. I thought the churchmen who appeared covered themselves with glory: I was deeply moved by them, both as people and men of the cloth.

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