Michael Moore is an American writer, documentary filmmaker and political commentator. He has directed and produced a number of documentary films, including Roger & Me (1989), Bowling for Columbine (2002), Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko which advocate for his liberal and progressive political views. Several won Academy Awards.
In Roger & Me, the then-unknown Moore (he had to mortgage his house to make it) pursued an interview with Roger Smith, the chairman of General Motors. His goal was to question Smith about the problems in Flint, Michigan associated with GM's cutbacks there, the repercussions of which the movie explores in detail. It was a major commercial success, although several of his later films surpassed it.
In Bowling for Columbine, Moore explores the gun culture in the United States, with reference to the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, visiting the Michigan Milita, obtaining a free gun for opening a bank account in Michigan, criticizes what he sees as people's concerns about security being pushed into paranoia by the media and interviews National Rifle Association president and actor Charlton Heston.
Fahrenheit 9/11 was released in 2004 and criticizes George W. Bush, the war on terror and media coverage of the actions of the Bush administration. It opens with a questioning of the result of the 2000 presidential election, and the fact that the Fox News Channel decided to prematurely announce the result of the election as having been successful for Mr. Bush. Moore also describes the allegations of election fraud in Florida. The film discusses the attacks of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001 and the effect the attacks had on persuading the American people into entering the 2003 war in Iraq. Moore criticizes Bush's Air National Guard service record from the Vietnam era, and alleges connections between Bush and the government of Saudi Arabia and the Bin Laden family. The climate of fear which the attacks brought about are subject for Moore's criticism, specifically with the passing of legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act, and criticizes the class divide between those fighting the war in Iraq and the political elite sending them there.
Sicko, a 2007 release by Moore, criticises the American healthcare, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, comparing the health system of the United States with that of Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Cuba. The film describes the creation of Health Maintenance Organizations in 1973, the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry and the politics of introducing single-payer health insurance in the United States. Moore visits hospitals and doctors in the United Kingdom and France, noting that the reality of these systems do not match the doom-and-gloom of American conservative rhetoric over socialized medicine. Moore also interviews American citizens who have been denied healthcare coverage due to pre-existing conditions, noting that many of the pre-existing conditions used to justify denial of insurance claims are trivial or irrelevant to the claim. Finally, he takes rescue workers from the World Trade Center attacks and travels to Cuba to allow them to get low-cost healthcare services from a hospital in Havana.
Moore's latest film - Capitalism: A Love Story - looks at the banking and finance sector critically following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the bailout of banks in the U.S., Great Britain and elsewhere. Moore also looks at the effect of economic deregulation on public services like prisons, many of which are now owned and managed by private corporations. Moore compares the capitalism of Wall Street to an "insane casino". Moore also talks to a number of religious figures and asks their views on capitalism (see usury, Islamic banking and religious views on finance) - Moore states that, under his understanding of Catholicism, "you can't call yourself a capitalist and a Christian, because you cannot love your money and love your neighbor."