Roger & Me

Synopsis: A documentary about the closure of General Motors' plant at Flint, Michigan, which resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs. Details the attempts of filmmaker Michael Moore to get an interview with GM CEO Roger Smith.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Michael Moore
Production: Warner Home Video
  14 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

I was kind of a strange child.

My parents knew early on

that something was wrong with me.

I crawled backwards until I was two...

but had Kennedy's inaugural address

memorized by the time I was six.

It all began when my mother didn't

show up for my first birthday party...

because she was having my sister.

My dad tried to cheer me up

by letting me eat the whole cake.

I knew then

there had to be more to life than this.

When I was a kid, I thought only

three people worked for General Motors:

Pat Boone, Dinah Shore and my dad.

Our hometown of Flint, Michigan,

was the birthplace of General Motors...

the largest corporation in the world.

There were more auto factories and

workers here than in any city on Earth.

We built Cadillacs, Buicks,

and Fisher bodies...

GM trucks, Chevrolets,

and AC spark plugs.

We enjoyed a prosperity

that working people had never seen.

And the city was grateful to the company.

With the whole city rocking,

Flint, Michigan, throws a birthday party.

It's for the people of General Motors

on their 50th anniversary.

Pat Boone celebrates with a song.

The promise of the future is the keynote

set by GM President, Harlow Curtis.

From the world of TV

comes Sergeant Garcia...

and the swordsman known as Zorro.

But the big hit of the parade...

is the lively marching

of the Elks junior drill team.

The citizens of Flint,

birthplace of General Motors...

also see the radiant Miss America.

This was Flint as I remember,

where every day was a great day.

It's a great day, all right.

A salute to Mr. And Mrs. America.

My dad worked on the assembly line at

GM's AC Spark Plug in Flint for 33 years.

In fact, as I grew older, I discovered

my entire family had worked for GM:

Grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters,

aunts, uncles, cousins. Everyone but me.

My uncle Laverne

was in the Great Flint Sit-Down Strike.

Just hours before the year's end in 1936...

he and thousands of other GM workers

took over the Flint factories...

and barricaded themselves inside,

refusing to budge for 44 days.

The National Guard was called in,

and the eyes of the world were on Flint.

On February 11, 1937,

General Motors gave in...

and the UAW was born.

The GM employee

has made great advances.

It is our wish that he continue to prosper.

Most of our employees,

even those who at times cause problems...

are conscientious

and hardworking men and women.

Men and women to whose imagination,

ingenuity, energy and dedication...

our country owes

its industrial leadership in the world.

That all sounded fine and good,

but the assembly line wasn't for me.

My heroes were the Flint people

who'd escaped the life in the factory...

and got out of Flint,

like the guys in Grand Funk Railroad...

Casey Kasem, the women who married

Zubin Mehta and Don Knotts...

and perhaps Flint's

most famous native son, Bob Eubanks...

host of TV's hit show

The Newlywed Game.

I figured if Bob Eubanks

could make it out of here, so could I.

After 10 years of editing my own paper

in Flint...

a California millionaire

asked me to be the editor...

of his muckraking magazine

in San Francisco.

It didn't take me long

to figure out what to do.

The final issue of the Michigan Voice

is being printed.

Ten years after he began it, Michael Moore

is moving to San Francisco.

What would you do?

I mean, this was San Francisco.

But San Francisco was on

the other side of the world from Flint.

Everyone there had a job,

yet no one seemed to be working.

The cafs were filled with people

at 3:
00 p. M.

I was told there's one restaurant

for every 44 people in San Francisco...

but most of them

seemed to be dessert places.

Trying to get a simple cup of coffee

became a nightmare for me.

Espresso, double espresso,

cappuccino, double cappuccino...

latte, double latte, mocha, double mocha...

caffe con panna, macchiato,

double macchiato...

caffe bianco, or house blend.

I was feeling disoriented living in a town

that didn't carry any nondairy creamer.

I went to work and announced...

that I was going to give a monthly column

to a Flint auto worker.

The owner instead told me to run

an investigative report on herbal teas.

I told him I had a better idea:

Let's put the auto worker on the cover.

The owner wasn't amused and declared

that California and I were a mismatch...

just before he offered me

my free U-Haul back to Michigan.

- Hello, Dad.

- Hello, son.

- t's been a long time.

- t sure has.

- Where's Mom?

- n the kitchen.

Why, your hands are filthy!

- Go upstairs and wash them.

- Okay, Mom.

Okay, so my homecoming

wasn't quite like that.

In fact, I wasn't back in Flint more than

a few days when the bad news hit.

This is the CBS Evening News,

Dan Rather reporting.

Good evening.

General Motors confirmed it today.

It is going to close plants

employing almost 30,000 workers.

Today we are announcing the closing...

of 11 of our older plants.

While Detroit and Pontiac

will certainly be hurt by the shutdowns...

the effect on Flint

is absolutely devastating.

Devastating wasn't the half of it.

Maybe I got this wrong...

but I thought companies lay off people

when they hit hard times.

GM was the richest company

in the world...

and it was closing factories

when it was making profits in the billions.

We do not have any plan

to cut our workforce by 80,000.

That was kind of

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Michael Moore

Michael Francis Moore (born April 23, 1954) is an American documentary filmmaker, activist, and author.One of his first films, Bowling for Columbine, examined the causes of the Columbine High School massacre and overall gun culture of the United States. For the film, Moore won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. He also directed and produced Fahrenheit 9/11, a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush and the War on Terror, which became the highest-grossing documentary at the American box office of all time and winner of a Palme d'Or. His next documentary, Sicko, which examines health care in the United States, also became one of the top ten highest-grossing documentaries. In September 2008, he released his first free movie on the Internet, Slacker Uprising, which documented his personal quest to encourage more Americans to vote in presidential elections. He has also written and starred in the TV shows TV Nation, a satirical newsmagazine television series, and The Awful Truth, a satirical show. Moore's written and cinematic works criticize topics such as globalization, large corporations, assault weapon ownership, U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, the Iraq War, the American health care system, and capitalism overall. In 2005, Time magazine named Moore one of the world's 100 most influential people. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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