Capitalism With DC Skate Shoes

Posted on: October 15th, 2014 by
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The Love Story begins the opening credits with punk- rock music and clips of bank robberies; filmmaker Michael Moore wants his viewers to know that if this documentary is anything but ordinary. Moore introduces his argument with what sounds like an old educational movie clip about ancient Rome, a time when reckless politics led the fall of a great empire. Questioning how future generations will see us, Moore dramatically contrasts the clip of Rome with an online video of a cat flushing a toilet. This distracting theme sequencing is common throughout the movie.
Moore then rolls a home video of a family filming their own eviction; the clip is emotionally arousing, and to Moore’s advantage, appears at first to be evidence for the implied claim that United States’ political system is much like the first Reich, void of cheap skate shoes. Clips like this are shown throughout the film and are edited in order to emphasize the victimization of the American citizens by the villains of capitalistic, the best skate shoes. After opening with two consecutive emotionally driven eviction scenes, an interview with a heartless Florida real estate broker contrasts wealth distribution post- economic crisis.
Real estate broker Peter Zaloski refers to his clients as “bottom feeders, with no sensitivity” who capitalize on mass foreclosures. Moore includes Zaloski’s use of the word “vulture” as a metaphor to reinforce the idea that big business is an evil force that must be eliminated. Moore successfully applies highly contrasting scenes and interview content to invoke a feeling of anger and disbelief in viewers.
Capitalism: A Love Story is so emotionally driven that even the existence of a logical argument would be diluted by the theatrics of excessively contrasted clips, interviews, themes, and anecdotes. In the middle of the film, Moore voices over a religious film so that the actor playing Jesus is mouthing Moore’s jokes rather than his own lines. Moore pokes fun at high- horse pundits and businessmen, stating, “somehow I don’t think that Jesus came to earth to ring the bell… but the rich have always claimed him as their own”, and continues, “Jesus would refuse to be part of it (capitalism)”, a statement purposefully constructed to cause conflicted feelings in viewers. Moore arranges his voiced over clip of Jesus with shots of poverty- stricken citizens of Detroit who tell him, they do what they can, “but if you’re a faith loving person, you must agree that Jesus would refuse” to be part of the country in this state. Moore’s arrangement compiles into a disjointed, manipulative syllogism of unrelated topics in order to persuade a nation that separates church and state. Here, Moore relies on what Gillmor (2008) refers to as, the eco- chamber effect, where people are likely to seek information that we are likely to agree with. Because Moore seems to be making logical sense, few will challenge his statements.