Documentary Critique Essay

This essay has a total of 967 words and 4 pages.

Documentary Critique

This is a critique of" Roger And Me", a documentary by Michael Moore. This is a film about
a city that at one time had a great economy. The working class people lived the American
dream. The majority of people in this town worked at the large GM factory. The factory is
what gave these people security in their middle working class home life. Life in the city
of Flint was good until Roger Smith the CEO of GM decided to close the factory. This
destroyed the city. Violent crime became the highest in the nation, businesses went
bankrupt, people were evicted from their rented homes. There were no jobs and no
opportunity. Life was so bad that Money magazine named Flint the worst place to live in
the entire nation. When news of the factory closing first broke, Michael Moore a native of
flint decided to search for Roger Smith and bring him to Flint.

Michael Moore is the author and narrator of this touching film. He is seen throughout the
film. He interviews many people and tries again and again to find Roger Smith. He is
thrown out of private clubs, offices and yacht clubs. His authorial voice is
observational. He tells all sides of this sad story. He interviews the people of Flint and
GM executives including Roger Smith. He even interviews the few very well to do people in
the now struggling city. One executive is used over and over in this film. His opinion is
that "GM has to do what GM has to do to stay competitive", and " the nature of
corporations is to make money". His views were shocking to me after seeing the struggle
that the city was in. How could he say this when streets were filled of boarded up homes
and businesses? The city is doing so bad that the rat population actually increased the
human. These comments made me sick because he actually believed what he was saying. The
well to do or very rich people in Flint had different statements but they were just as
disturbing. "Get up and do something", "They don't want to work", "We have such a good
welfare program these days" and "there being lazy" were just some of the comments. These
people just seemed really naive to me. I got the impression, and I am confidant that their
families has had money for years and that they were brought up on this type of attitude.
The sheriff of the city was interviewed as he evicted people from their homes. He said he
was so backed up with evictions that he had to kick people out of their homes on Christmas
eve. So many people were leaving this town that people getting evicted couldn't call a
moving truck. All of these interviews shows the depth of the entire story, not just one
side. Roger Smith was finally asked at the end of the film what he thought of people being
out in the street in Flint. He said that it had nothing to do with GM.

The director's choice of authorial voice certainly impacted my feelings about the film.
The director showed all sides of the story but anyone who watches this film will side with
the city of Flint. One reason for this was showing the archive footage of the city of
Flint before the decision of the plant. There was footage of people with smiles walking
the streets of Flint and footage of many thriving businesses. The city of this day was a
totally different than after the lay off. Now there was a city where people wore a frown
and businesses were boarded. This was very effective in portraying the documentary subject
because you could see the before and after effect with your own eyes. The director's
authorial voice provided me with a compelling point of view. To me Roger Smith was almost
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