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Michael Moore: a life in docs

Blog
10 June 2016

Sheffield Doc/Fest kicks off today with Oscar-winning activist film-maker Michael Moore opening the festival with the UK premiere of his new film Where to Invade Next.

Michael Moore, now 61, has clocked up three decades of hard-hitting, funny and box office friendly feature documentaries.

Where to Invade Next sees Moore confronting some of the most pressing issues facing America today and finding solutions in the most unlikely places, including gourmet school lunches in France and Finland¹s homework free education system.

He has made seven doc features  - writing, directing, producing and narrating on the biggest issues in US life.

1989
GENERAL MOTORS & CORPORATE INJUSTICE
Roger & Me
His first feature doc chronicles his attempts to interview Roger Smith, the CEO of General Motors, at a time when the behemoth had closed car plants in Michigan impacting hugely on the local economy. In its time, it was the highest grossing documentary feature ever.

1998

THE POWER OF US CORPORATES
The Big One
The film follows Moore as he tours around the US to promote his book, Downsize This, a critical look at the power of US corporates and their negative effect on the country¹s economy. It shows Moore attempting to get answers from the chiefs of giant US companies and talking to people let down by the system.


2002
GUN CRIME AND VIOLENCE
Bowling for Columbine
Moore stirred a hornets¹ nest with his personal take on the causes of gun crime and the nature of violence in the US, with a focus on the Columbine High School Massacre that took place in 1999. He picked up an Oscar for best Documentary Feature.


2004
THE WAR ON TERROR
Fahrenheit 9/11
Probing the politics behind the war on terror, the Bin Laden family¹s links to the establishment and the leadership of George W Bush, Moore argues that the American corporate media were ‘cheerleaders’ for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and that there was insufficient rationale or analysis. The movie won the Palme D¹Or at Cannes in 2004 and is still the highest grossing feature doc of all time, having pulled in over US$200m at the box office.

2007
THE US HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Sicko
This time healthcare comes under the spotlight as Moore examines America¹s health-care crisis, asking why millions are without coverage. He visits Canada, France and the UK to compare their systems of delivering a free-to-all health service.

2008
VOTER APATHY/ GEORGE BUSH
Slacker Uprising
Focused on the 2004 US elections, Moore tours swing states in an attempt to galvanize young voters to get behind John Kerry and the Democratic party as an alternative to George W Bush as president. It was one of the first feature docs to be released as a free download in the US and Canada.

2009
WALL STREET CORRUPTION
Capitalism: A Love Story
Centred on the economic crash of 2007 - 2010, the documentary is also an indictment of the current economic order. It contrasts 50s archive images about free enterprise with the economic disaster of the new century.





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