Roger & Me Reviews
The film begins with a collection of archival footage of the filmmaker?s youth strewn together in a series of clips. His intent in providing this, seemingly, is to convey the depth of the relationship that he had with his hometown, Flint, and that same intimacy and dependency that it had with General Motors. From here we are taken into contemporary Flint, to which our filmmaker has returned after a mutual disharmony with San Francisco, where we find ourselves in the midst of a mass employee layoff by General Motors. Flint?s GM plants are getting ready to shut down and move their facilities into Mexico, where labor is significantly cheaper, and about 30,000 Flint employees are preparing their selves and their families for the misfortune that will lie ahead. From this point we watch the citizens of Flint, most of which were GM workers, and its economy descend into a depression from which we can only hope it returns. Throughout the documentary our filmmaker not only carries the role as the visionary, but he also assumes the role of the director, narrator, participant and I may even go as far to say the film?s representative protagonist.
It is clear that Moore intended to criticize the greed-fueled decision of Roger Smith and his lack of insight into just how great an impact his decision would have; he may have even been implicitly referring to all corporate leaders, but the story that he has presented to us yields more than one moral. Based on the filmmaker?s method in filming I have found two secondary aphorisms to prevail: (1) What are we willing to give up in the quest for progress, and (2) Ultimately people are only concerned about their own well-being. However, in examining this film one could find a multitude of underlying morals being professed/upheld, for Moore?s film is not one-note, but it seems that the first two are more readily identifiable.
Moore formats his film in such a way that we see these great disparities in ?character? as individuals or institutions approach what they consider to be progress or success. Though, too often do we forget that in order to progress you must abandon old concepts, ideals, modes of action, and general things of the past and acquire better, otherwise it is not progression. The problem in Roger and Me, though, is that often times we are willing to give up too much or simply the wrongs things, and our quest for progress and advancement loses that quality and simply becomes greed.