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THE BIG ONE

USA, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Documentaries)

Director: Michael Moore

Just when you thought if was safe to be a miserly, exploitative, conniving Montgomery Burns-style CEO... Michael Moore is back! A giant by reputation as well as physical presence, Moore first made his indelible mark on cinema with the hilarious but incisive Roger and Me, an attack on the mass retrenchments that wracked the auto industry in the 1980s.

Once again Moore's targets are massive international corporations topping their coffers up with phenomenal profits while laying off staff by the thousands. In 1996 Moore wrote Downsize This: Random Thoughts from an Unarmed American. When asked by his publisher to undertake a short speaking tour to promote the book, Moore engaged a camera crew to follow him as he conducted a series of signings and readings that degenerated into comical confrontations, pep rallies and protest pranks.

Part raconteur, part stand-up comedian, Moore is ever willing to butt horns with the captains of industry... if he can just get past security! With The Big One he contends that moving American industry offshore - in other words, paying starving Mexican workers 80 cents an hour to assemble car parts - is killing communities while Iining the pockets of a privileged few.

Inciting staff unrest in the bookshops he visits, encouraging unionisation in the fast food joints he frequents or challenging the chairman of Nike to a footrace ("Or we can arm wrestle.") is alf in a day's stirring for Michael Moore. Join the XXXL sized director and his fearless crew as they make the world safe for decent working people and an all-American candy bar.

Michael Moore was born in Flint, Michigan in 1954. He founded and for a decade edited the Flint Voice, one of the most respected alternative newspapers in the US. In 1989 he directed landmark documentary Roger and Me. Moore's subsequent projects have included writing, hosting and directing the television series TV Nation (1994-95), Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (1994), Blood in the Face (1994), and Canadian Bacon (1995).

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