The Venice film festival is in full swing, and today the Guardian reviews Michael Moore's latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story:
Moore jabs his finger at everyone from Reagan to Bush Jr, Hank Paulson to Alan Greenspan. He drags the viewer through a thicket of insurance scams, sub-prime bubbles and derivative trading so wilfully obfuscatory that even the experts can't explain how it works.
The big villain, of course, is capitalism itself, which the film paints as a wily old philanderer intent on lining the pockets of the few at the expense of the many. America, enthuses a leaked Citibank report, is now a modern-day "plutonomy" where the top 1% of the population control 95% of the wealth. Does Barack Obama's election spell an end to all this? The director has his doubts, pointing out that Goldman Sachs — depicted here as the principal agent of wickedness — was the largest private contributor to the Obama campaign.
I say: sit back and enjoy. There's no need any longer for the ritual fainthearted acknowledgments that "Moore sometimes goes a bit too far" or "Moore sometimes prefers theater to getting the facts straight" or any of that. It's probably true, but why bother anymore? The wingers have already decided that we're all a bunch of radicalfascistextremistcommunistunamericansocialistchicagothugs anyway, so what the hell. Might as well just enjoy some lefty porn along with a big bag of popcorn and hail Michael Moore as a true American prophet. What more can they call us, after all?