<!-- IMAGE -->
In his new documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story," Director Michael Moore turns his lens on one of the most contentious subjects in America today: the economic crisis. Mixing scathing satire with human drama, Moore talks about the housing collapse, the credit crunch, the Wall Street shakeup and the U.S. government's $750 billion bank bailout.
In "Capitalism: A Love Story," Michael Moore says unfettered greed plunged middle America into the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression. In his usual theatrical style, Moore puts the blame on banks and other financial institutions.
"Here's how it worked. First, tell these home owners that they own a bank and that bank is your home. And you can use your bank to get more money. Just refinance! Everyone is doing it. Of course, hidden in the dozens of hundreds of pages of fine print are tricky clauses that allow the bank to raise your interest rate to a number you didn't know about. Perhaps so high, that you won't be able to repay your loan. But that's o.k. If you can't repay it, we'll just take your house," says Moore.
Moore says housing is just one facet of America's economic crisis today. "Stock markets crash, bankruptcy, foreclosures, a global meltdown and the government bails. By spending just a few million dollars to buy Congress, Wall Street was given billions," he says.
Moore alleges that government officials, along with corporate executives, created a doomsday scenario, saying the financial system would collapse without a hefty bank bailout.
Congress agreed to give $750 billion of taxpayer money to imperiled financial giants. But Elizabeth Warren, of the Congressional Oversight Panel, says in the film the money is unaccounted for.
In his trademark baseball hat and jeans, Moore knocks at the doors of giant corporations demanding answers and …the people's money. "I'm gonna take it back to the U.S. treasury. Right in this car. It's safe. You can trust me," he says.
Vitriole aside, Moore delivers a heartbreaking picture of middle class Americans, hard working people who cannot get jobs, put food on the table or pay for their homes.
Moore questions the morality of capitalism which he describes as an unregulated economic system where the few maximize their profits at the expense of the many. He repeated that point at a post-screening discussion moderated by journalist Ariana Huffington. "It's not capitalism versus communism discussion I want to have. I just want to go back to our root values, what Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin and all those guys said about democracy," he says.
The right to vote, says Moore, is the people's most effective weapon against abuse of power.
His documentary does not offer economic alternatives nor does he prove allegations about corporate corruption.
His preachy tone about greed may alienate many, who seek a more cerebral treatment.
But Moore's intent is not intellectual dialogue. He wants to spark a visceral reaction. This way, he hopes, Americans will get angry enough to do something about it. "There's got to be some kind of rebellion between the people that have nothing and the people that's got it all," he says.