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Documentaries – Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore Essay (Movie Review)


“Capitalism: A Love Story” is a documentary film by Michael Moore. The film’s main focus is on the effects that capitalism has had on America. The documentary film debuted in 2009 and Michael Moore wrote, starred in, and directed it. The film’s storyline revolves around the financial crisis that befell America in the late 2000s and the accompanying recovery efforts. Some of the hot topics that are covered by Michael Moore in this film include Wall Street, Goldman Sach, worker’s conditions, corporate insurance policies on workers, home foreclosures, and the ‘runaway’ greed of corporate America.

The film also incorporates a religious angle in its outlook. Throughout the film, the filmmaker juxtaposes several historical situations with current ones. The subject matter that is addressed in “Capitalism: A Love Story” resonates with Michael Moore’s past topics. Michael Moore picks a topic that dominates day-to-day lives and then presents it in a manner that is appealing to the average citizen. This film is a testament of Michael Moore’s seasoned movie making abilities that have garnered him a league of admirers and critics alike.

Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” examines the effects of capitalism on the American society. America’s loves and celebrates capitalism in equal measure and the filmmaker conducts extensive interviews with capitalism-gatekeepers. The film struggles to maintain a balance between the positives of capitalism and its negatives. At the beginning of the film, the filmmaker shows what capitalism has amounted to by running surveillance footages of bank robbers.

The filmmaker then takes viewers back to the golden age of capitalism. Michael Moore strategically fixes interviews with modern experts into the film. The film’s arrangement enables viewers to understand capitalism in a wider context. Furthermore, the filmmaker manages to maintain an outrageous and humorous analysis of capitalism using this strategy.

Moore’s attempts to highlight the evils of capitalism by taking a ‘total’ stand against it. However, as a filmmaker Moore is part of capitalism. For instance, the budget for making this documentary was in excess of seventeen million dollars. Therefore, this venture requires investors most of whom have Wall Street connections. This fact puts a blemish on Michael Moore who on several occasions during the film can be seen putting crime-scene tape in front of some Wall Street offices. Nevertheless, Moore’s crime-scene tape plastering routine begins to become ‘annoying to watch’ after some time.

“Capitalism: A Love Story” covers its subject matter less seriously as compared to other Moore-films such as “Fahrenheit 9/11”. In this film, Moore resorts to funny and outrageous depictions of capitalism. However, the serious concerns that are expressed in the film are still communicated to the audience successfully. For example, the audience can still recognize some of the serious effects of capitalism such as ‘condo vultures’ and the ‘Wal-Mart Dead Peasant life-insurance scam’.

The lengthy nature of the movie is also another indicator of Moore’s talent because the filmmaker is able to capture and maintain the audiences’ attention. The over-simplified nature of capitalism stands out in this documentary film. Moreover, this over-simplification is meant to help ordinary audiences to understand capitalism in their own terms.

“Capitalism: A Love Story” is a movie that seeks to vilify American capitalism. However, the filmmaker decides to use subtle humor and outrageous acts to pass his message across. The film is informative and its simplicity appealed to me in a great way. Through Michael Moore’s body of work, I was able to reflect on the ills of capitalism.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 1). Documentaries - Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/documentaries-capitalism-a-love-story-by-michael-moore/

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"Documentaries - Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore." IvyPanda, 1 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/documentaries-capitalism-a-love-story-by-michael-moore/.

1. IvyPanda. "Documentaries - Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore." May 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/documentaries-capitalism-a-love-story-by-michael-moore/.


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IvyPanda. "Documentaries - Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore." May 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/documentaries-capitalism-a-love-story-by-michael-moore/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Documentaries - Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore." May 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/documentaries-capitalism-a-love-story-by-michael-moore/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Documentaries - Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore'. 1 May.

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