In the 1980s, American factories were closing at a rapid pace. President Reagan's famous "trickle-down" economics helped large corporations increase profits while at the same time he reduced the power of the union with the firing of over 11,000 Air Traffic Controllers who had gone on strike (Le Blanc 122).
Some of the many factories to be affected by these economic changes were those owned by GM in Flint, Michigan. By first laying off thousands of workers and then closing the plants altogether, GM ultimately eliminated over 30,000 jobs in the city of Flint.
Moore opens the film with a brief description of his childhood years in Flint. This is important as right from the outset we learn of any possible bias that might influence the making of the film: Moore's entire family worked for GM. While Moore attempts to be objective as he creates the film, it is important that the viewer is aware of the bias inherent in the filmmaking.
He does, however, do an excellent job in providing objectivity in the film overall. Moore does a great deal of interviewing in the film and a wide selection of viewpoints presenting both sides are used. Many of the interviews are of former GM employees. Also interviewed by Moore are Tom Kay, GM spokesman; Pat Boone, former Chevrolet endorser a...
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... his possible bias right from the onset of the film which is extremely important.
In making use of extensive interviews, archival footage, and television news clips, as well as actual scenes from inside the factory, the documentary is extremely valid from a historical perspective. In his efforts to demonstrate to Americans outside of Flint what happened in his hometown, Moore's extensive use of irony draws in viewers and creates a documentary which remains compelling throughout its ninety minutes. In bringing the average person to, through the above techniques, truly care about the plight of the citizens of Flint, Moore has clearly shown that he has expertly created the documentary.
Another of his quotes from the DVD commentary accurately sums up the film as a whole: "On the surface it's kind of funny, but you're only laughing because you want to cry."
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