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Roger & Me (1989)

1 rating: 1.0
Documentary movie directed by Michael Moore

Roger and Meis a loose, smart-alecky documentary directed and narrated by Michael Moore, an everyman host with a devastating wit and a working-class pose. When his hometown is devastated by the plant closure of an American corporate giant (making record … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: Michael Moore
1 review about Roger & Me (1989)

Good first try, but lots of rookie mistakes

  • Mar 11, 2007
Rating:
+1
Roger & Me debuted in 1988 and turned Michael Moore into an up-and-coming star in the populist media. Narrated and produced by Mr. Moore, it examines the economic decline of his hometown, Flint, Michigan, due to the closing of several GM plants. The name Roger refers to Roger Smith, the GM executive who was the force behind these closings. The movie starts by showing Moore's childhood in Flint, and how the city grew rich on the automobile business. Then came the announced closings. The movie shows film footage from these events, such as the corporate announcements themselves, news footage both local and national, and reactions from Flint residents. The movie then shows the gradual decline of the city such as store closings, bankruptcies, increased crime rates, and evictions of many citizens. Throughout this decline, Mr. Moore tries to find Roger Smith so he can meet with him, and convince him to visit Flint. Time and again Moore misses Roger, and the movie ends with him managing to confront Roger for several minutes at a banquet.

Interspersed throughout the movie are scenes of the wealthy citizens of Flint and how they are totally disconnected from the middle class and laid-off workers of Flint. Also interspersed is footage of the various ridiculous things Flint citizens do after GM leaves them, such as growing rabbits for meat.

The point that this movie seems to be trying to convey is that GM closed the plants to reopen them in Mexico to boost profits, and not to postpone corporate losses. It is here that movie is quite lacking in numbers and data. For example, the movie should have shown the price of GM stock during this time frame, and also GM's profit line before and after the plant closings. Another area where numbers would have helped is in showing Flint's decline. The movie should have shown employment rates, city tax earnings, and crime rates in Flint before and after the plant closings.

In conclusion, this is a good, but not great, muckraking movie. It is worth watching as a historical piece, and lends insight into the economic decline of the Midwest and Northeast.

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