Roger and Me: A Critical Analysis
Michael Moore’s documentary, Roger and Me, focuses primarily on the disregard of the chairman and stockholders of GM for the workers of GM’s plant in Flint, Michigan. His central idea is that corporate American is all about greed and corruption. It is a savage political satire aimed at corporate America in general, and at Roger Smith, the chairman of GM in particular. He wanted Smith to visit the town of Flint to view firsthand the desolation and wreckage caused to the local economy, not to mention the social life of the town, by GM’s shutdown of their plants in Flint in the late 1980s.
Flint, once the hometown of one of the biggest corporations in America with the automobile industry as almost the sole driving force behind its economy, ends up being a town with one of the highest crime and unemployment rates. Moore uses vivid images throughout the movie to emphasize his point, to drive it home to the minds of people behind corporations, and to put forward to the public the true depiction of what we call democracy, and enable us to realize how the term “democracy” can be used, through the logic of the people behind corporate houses.
Throughout the movie, we are told that Moore tried several times to interview GM’s chairman Roger Smith to get answers to his questions about the plant being shutdown and relocated to Mexico. Moore also informs his viewers that he wished to place before Smith the consequences of his company’s actions which caused a tremendous alteration in the local economy, shifting peoples’ lives from affluence to abject destitution. GM at that point of time, was a multi-billion dollar corporation, and Moore argues that the relocation was done to take advantage of the cheaper labor force available there, a corporate greed for more profits and desire for ultimate power. These decision-makers, according to Moore, did not for a moment consider the consequences of their decisions that destroyed the lives of many...