A Film By Michael Moore

Michael Moore is best known  for  a previous movie he did, "Roger
and  Me."   That  film  documented  how  GM  plant  closings  had
devastated the town of Flint, Michigan.

One of movie-maker Moore's major assets is his  sense  of  humor.
It  comes  in  handy  in  "The  Big  One," his latest documentary
dealing with  the  agonies  being  suffered  by American workers.
Moore shows how the "good economy" is not so good for millions of
Americans, yet softens the bitter news with a counter-balance  of
laughter.  With corporate profits at record levels, Moore hammers
on  the  point,  "Why aren't most workers sharing in the economic
bonanza?"  Moore goes even further:  "Why are so many workers not
only not getting a piece  of  the  pie, but are even being thrown
out of work -- 'downsized' -- at the same time corporate  profits
are booming?"

The  film's  title,  "The  Big  One,"  comes from Moore's jocular
suggestion that the United  States  ought  to be renamed "The Big
One" and that our national anthem should be changed  to  the  hit
song,  "We  Will Rock You."  The film follows Moore as he travels
to various cities on a  promotional  tour for his book, "Downsize
This!"  "The Big One" is at least equally entertaining as  "Roger
and  Me."   But  unlike  in  his  previous  film,  which  focused
primarily  on  Flint,  Michigan,  Moore's  latest covers the late
1990s labor situation throughout the U.S. We see the employees of
the Payday candybar plant  in  Centralia,  Illinois on their last
day at work.  We  see  "top  secret"  footage  from  the  Detroit
newspaper  strike  --  "top  secret"  insofar as the bitter labor
dispute was ignored by  mainstream  "news"  outlets.  We hear the
bitter voices of "downsized" workers, "rewarded" for their  years
of work by seeing their jobs relocated to Mexico.

Moore opens the film by gibing at politicians who will take money
from  anyone.   He  had  set  up misleading checking accounts for
non-existent groups like "Satanists for Bob Dole" and "Pedophiles
for Perot," then mailed  $100  checks  to the various candidates.
Would Bill Clinton's campaign cash a $100 contribution from  "The
Hemp  Growers  of  America"?  It turns out, yes.  Notwithstanding
the questionable source of  funds,  all four candidates tested by
Moore -- Dole, Clinton, Perot and Buchanan -- had no qualms about
accepting the money.

Moore manages to do what most on the so-called "left" are  unable
to  do:   he  connects  hard with his audience in a practical way
rather than, as many "leftists,"  bore them to tears with endless
semantics.  Moore keeps you laughing, even though the subject  is
so  dismal.   His humor, like that of the late Lenny Bruce, has a
hard edge; there's nothing  escapist about it.  Moore, throughout
the film, delivers knock-out punches made palatable by humor.

In my town, "The Big One" was only being shown in an independent,
avant-garde  theater.   Why  weren't  the  big  corporate  chains
carrying this film?  After all, they are (supposedly) "in it  for
the profit."  The movie, "The Big One," a BBC production, is much
better than the pitiful "X-Files" movie -- yet X-Files was widely
distributed  and  "The Big One," at least in my town, like Joseph
and Mary, had to "sleep in the stable."

You say you're fed up  watching  lies on television?  Then go out
tonight and treat yourself to a great antidote, "The Big One"  --
if you can find somewhere that it's being shown.

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