Zozo
10,000 BC

Roger & Me (1989)
Documentary
English
"The story of a rebel and his mike."
Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing.
Michael Moore Himself
James Blanchard Himself
James Bond Himself
Pat Boone Himself
Rhonda Britton Herself ('Pets or Meat')
Anita Bryant Herself
Karen Edgely Herself
Bob Eubanks Himself
Ben Hamper Himself
Dinona Jackson Herself
Timothy Jackson Himself
Tom Kay Himself
Ted Koppel Himself (archive footage)
Correy Lennox High School Student
Brian MacDonald Video Tour Guide
Kaye Lani Rae Rafko Herself (Miss America)
Dan Rather Himself (archive footage)
Janet K. Rauch Herself - Amway Lady
Ronald Reagan Himself (archive footage)
Fred Ross Himself (eviction deputy)
Barbara Schroeder Herself - Reporter
Robert Schuller Himself (archive footage)
George Sells Himself (local TV news anchor)
Roger B. Smith Himself
Guy Williams Zorro
Steve Wilson Himself
Sue Zelenko Herself
Richard Earl Sawdon Spot welder (uncredited)
Producer: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Adulterated by Moore's Self-Indulgence
I rented Roger and Me with the highest of expectations. Seeing that it was ranked by Siskel and Ebert in the top 3 of all films during the year of 1989, I figured it must've been quite a potent and well-done documentary. Unfortunately, it just couldn't live up to expectations, due to some problems I have with what I saw of Michael Moore.

The scenes displaying the grandeur of Flint during Moore's childhood contrast very effectively with the shots of Flint that show the decadence of the city because of the massive layoff. It is almost difficult to watch, as the viewer sees just what pathetic lengths Flint will go to to try to elevate its position in the world and re-instore morale into its people. Attempts to make Flint a major tourist attraction flop miserably, and soon the city is forced to resort to exploiting a new prison's opening by offering couples a chance to "spend a night in jail" for only $100. Residents, meanwhile, are forced to do whatever they can to keep from getting evicted. One woman has a sign in front of her house offering to sell rabbits as "pets or meat", and unfortunately the actual skinning of a rabbit is shown along with the cramped and terrible situations the rabbits live in. The way Flint reacts to being named the "worst city in the nation" to live in by Money magazine is notably humorous, as residents burn magazines of the paper and use pathetic means of support to convince themselves it certainly isn't true. A lot of humor is present in such scenes, but it is the bittersweetness that is touching and powerful.

While truly the tragedy of the Flint situation is conveyed well through such ways, it is tainted by Michael Moore. His views regarding the situation in Flint can best be characterized as "sardonic". He appears to have little compassion for the situation, and this made me speculate that he is only making a documentary to exploit such a filmmable world he lives in. He constantly shows the "bad guys", whether it be uptight Athletic Club directors, elderly wealthy women, or Roger Smith itself. There is literally no point to this, other than to make these people scapegoats for a tragic situation. Moore even further tries to make himself seem like some sort of moral hero in front of these people, as he asks them pompously what they think about Flint's condition. I felt worst for Ms. Michigan. His treatment of her was quite cruel, as it was clear she didn't really know the depths of decadence Flint had sank to. He portrays her as being stupid and uncaring, yet she merely is the average citizen(I doubt she lived in Flint since she was Ms. Michigan and seemed unfamiliar with the city..if I didn't know about the GM situation back then, how was she?) Moore's voiceovers even further taint the documentary, as he wastes time talking about meaningless nonsense instead of showing more scenes about the conditions the people of Flint had to contend with. We're not allowed to think for ourselves, even though I'm sure we'd come up with a lot of the same conclusions.

While powerful and effective in showing Flint's situation, I just can't give this my full endorsement because of Moore's apparent selfishness. I hope I am wrong concerning my views about him, but I just didn't see any evidence to the contrary. My apologies, sir, if I am incorrect. The film otherwise is great, and it is stunning that Moore was able to record such telling interviews from both sides of the Flint tragedy.

Rating: 7/10, recommended

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Storage device:Divx 5
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Movie
Imdb rating: 7.5
Running time: 91 min
Technical
Subtitles: Svenska
Audio tracks: Stereo [English]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-02-17 06:34:51