Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The big one (1997) by Michael Moore

(photo) cluster amaryllises in a cemetery, in Ohta, Gunma prefecture, Japan

The big one is a funny title. When Michael had a conversation with BBC staffs, he called the US the big one for a laugh against the Great Britain of the UK. Yet the title symbolizes the essence of the US and its businesses that they cannot help expanding their powers. Probably that could be a character of the capitalist system.

The theme of this movie is issues of unemployment, especially in the big businesses. Michael is traveling around the US, promoting his book. He is interviewing with both employers and employees in the businesses in the state which he visits. He reveals big businesses are moving manufacturing bases overseas, though they are making big profits in the US. The employers usually say that moving manufacturing bases is necessary for keeping their competing power. But he asks why they don't care their employees in the US.

At the end of the movie he interviews with the president of Nike. He asks," Why do you employ 14 years young girls for low payments in Indonesia? Why do you cooperate with the military government to exploit young people? " The president replies," A part of them will be able to get ahead." This is the president's thought through all his life. Michael comments," So what?" This is his thought through all the movie.

I think this movie succeeds to express the greed of the big businesses, but he can't explain why the employers becomes greedy from the historical and social structural point of view. That means if he can express the issues of unemployment from these point of view, his criticism would be more fundamental.

Anyway I'm deeply impressed in that his movie is full of laughter, dealing with these serious problems.

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