Directed by: Michael Moore
Written by: Michael Moore
Produced by: Carl Deal, Meghan O’Hara, Michael Moore
Starring: Michael Moore and a host of sympathisers and suspects
No one is safe and nothing is sacred, at least nothing that the big end of town wants to sweep under the carpet when Michael Moore throws back the rug to expose the outrageous chicanery that gets them what they want.
With a Michael Moore documentary you can expect to be appalled by the issues at stake and riveted by the oblique angles from which they are viewed. In this instance, Moore’s thought provoking compilation of theatre, confrontation and shenanigans charts the alternative history of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, and beyond. If anyone in America could be described as Trump’s arch-nemesis, it would most likely be Moore. Where the one with extravagant comb-over and the unusually long necktie famously evades questions, his shaggy nemesis in the baseball cap is equally invested in finding the answers. Even if those findings might not be the ones you expect.
While I have been continually gobsmacked by the audacious commentary aimed at the Trump administration, so much has already been said and written that I had wondered whether I might be in line for a lengthy rehash. Not so. From the opening scenes, the little voice in my mind kept asking in a stunned whisper, ‘Can he really say that?’ And that was before one word had even been uttered. The choice of music implied something that words could not say (at least, not without being sued or locked up).
Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about Trump’s ascendancy—social media, Russian interference, the ill-timed FBI investigation—there was one factor that we had all overlooked. According to Moore’s deep investigative research, Gwen Stefanie was responsible for the Trump phenomenon.
Even so, Trump’s Stefani inspired tilt for office was merely the prelude, with Moore zeroing in on Trump’s plan to run the country as a business. In 2010, Rick Snyder, former chairman of Gateway Computers, had already delivered a full-dress rehearsal in the state of Michigan when he was elected governor. Invoking a state of emergency, Snyder privatised the public services in the city of Flint. With capitalism and unbridled greed running amok, the result was a water crisis that has decimated the city’s economy and poisoned its citizens. As Moore notes, ‘No terrorist organisation has figured out how to poison an entire American city’.
Flint alone would be a resounding indictment on the state of things in America today, but Moore takes aim at a constellation of culprits. Democrats, Republicans, the United States Electoral College, even the general public are implicated. Moore spares no one when he asks:
How the #*!@*# did it happen?
America has long proclaimed itself to be the champion of democracy, but Moore’s wide-ranging think piece reveals an America sleepwalking toward the destruction of the American dream (not the one with the house and two cars), but the dream of a ‘one person one vote’ democracy. For many Americans it is still only an aspiration and whatever freedoms they have won are in imminent peril.
When Moore lifts the rug, you won’t believe who they are and what they have been getting away with.
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