Moore, Michael

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Moore, Michael

Michael Moore, 1954–, American documentary filmmaker, author, and sociopolitical activist, b. Flint, Mich. After working as an alternative print and radio journalist, he embarked on a career as a highly personal, populist, and frequently controversial and polarizing documentary filmmaker. Appalled by his native city's economic decline as a result of downsizing and closings by General Motors, he made Roger & Me (1989), a satirical journey in which he unsuccessfully tries to meet with GM's chairman. His next major work, Bowling for Columbine (2002; Academy Award), is a scathing look at America's gun culture. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), his most controversial and financially successful film, is an angry critique of the Bush administration's handling of post-9/11 events and Iraq. Sicko (2007) focused on the ways insurance companies deny appropriate care to subscribers; Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) attacked the corporate dominance of American society and its effects on ordinary Americans; and Where to Invade Next (2015) is a mock travelogue in which Moore critiques American society by "invading" European nations to survey their successful social institutions. Michael Moore in Trumpland (2016) is a preelection, pro–Hillary Clinton stand-up show performed in a Trump-leaning Ohio town. Moore also has produced television programs combining news and satire and written several provocative books, e.g., Downsize This! (1996), Stupid White Men (2001), and Dude, Where's My Country? (2003), as well as the autobiographical Here Comes Trouble (2011). He made his Broadway debut in 2017 with a one-man show, The Terms of My Surrender, in which he told a variety of stories from his crusades and urged citizens to resist Donald Trump's presidency.

See K. Lawrence, ed., The World according to Michael Moore (2004).

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