Roger & Me
  • Roger & Me
  • Roger & Me

Roger & Me

3.6 9
Director: Michael Moore

Cast: Michael Moore

     
 

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Michael Moore's wickedly iconoclastic documentary was inspired by the decline and fall of Flint, Michigan. Once the site of a thriving General Motors plant, Flint went quickly to seed when GM decided to close down and move out. As Moore pokes around what has been described by one magazine as "the worst place to live in America," he finds out how the local populace is… See more details below

Overview

Michael Moore's wickedly iconoclastic documentary was inspired by the decline and fall of Flint, Michigan. Once the site of a thriving General Motors plant, Flint went quickly to seed when GM decided to close down and move out. As Moore pokes around what has been described by one magazine as "the worst place to live in America," he finds out how the local populace is coping with GM's betrayal of the American Dream. Among those visited are a family who is evicted just before Christmas, and an enterprising middle-aged woman who set up a thriving business slaughtering and skinning rabbits. Never feigning objectivity, Moore contrasts the impact of the shutdown on the average Joes and Janes with the diffident reaction of Flint's power elite. The latter's patronizing attitude towards the unemployed multitudes is succinctly captured in the scenes in which visiting celebrities Robert Schuller, Anita Bryant, Bobby Vinton and Pat Boone exhort the citizenry to grin and bear it. Even more out of synch is "Miss Michigan" Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, who in her morale-boosting speech to the disenfranchised GM employees begs them to pull for her in the upcoming Miss America pageant! The film's throughline is Moore's futile effort to locate GM chairman Roger Smith, so that he can show Moore first-hand the utter devastation of Flint. Roger & Me is very funny, but it is the gallows humor of soldiers about to embark on a suicide mission. In 1992, Michael Moore more or less updated Roger & Me with his half-hour short subject Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The deep chasm between the haves and have-nots opens wide in 1989's Roger & Me, Michael Moore's hilariously scathing documentary. In this breakthrough film, which put the future Academy Award winner on the map, Moore takes up the case of his hometown, Flint, Michigan, a city sucker-punched by the American Dream. The city has been decimated since the 1980s, after the closing of General Motors plants put tens of thousands out of work. As the self-appointed representative of the people of Flint, Moore embarks on a quixotic quest to find GM's then-chairman, Roger Smith, and get to the bottom of things. Moore sketches his case in broad strokes, allowing the corporate fat cats to shoot themselves in the foot either in interviews or in candid footage, meanwhile intercutting a tragic series of local foreclosures and evictions. All the while, Moore's camera proves an utterly disarming presence, and even those familiar with the media spotlight -- including Flint native Bob Eubanks and former Chevy spokesman Pat Boone -- seem caught unawares, looking foolish at best and heartless at worst. In the end, Big Business and the rich appear indifferent and even cruel, while everyone else seems mindless, deluded, or just recently homeless. This makes for an often wickedly funny yet disturbing film that asks tough questions about corporate responsibility while exposing a nightmarish side of contemporary capitalism.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Michael Moore's Roger & Me offers a scathing critique of corporate America. Offering a strong point-of-view and a palpable contempt for anyone who takes advantage of the working class, Moore reveals a series of heartbreaking people whose lives and city have been taken away from them due to corporate greed. Moore's everyman persona provides a perfect disguise. Those in positions of authority who are willing to talk to him for this film seem unable to comprehend how this chubby average guy could possibly do them any harm. While he certainly takes (arguably deserved but always hilarious) potshots at a future Miss America, game show host Bob Eubanks, and crooner Pat Boone, Moore's bitterness is tempered by a sadness that allows one to forgive him when his satire hits an innocent bystander rather than his intended target. Funny, cruel, outraged, and sad, Roger & Me offers more emotions than the average fiction film -- one of the many reasons it became the most successful documentary ever at the time it was released.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2014
UPC:
0883929413492
Original Release:
1989
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
43,931

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