“I start thinking that I’ve allowed Fox News and the right wing in this country to define me. They’ve created a fictional character called Michael Moore,” he said recently during an interview in Toronto.

“For a while, I would laugh at that. It was kind of entertaining when they said, ‘He hates America’ or that I was godless, because I know the truth. But then it was like, ‘Oh my God, people start to believe this stuff.’ So I decided to take that risk in this film and tell you a little bit about who I am.”

Moore highlights his Catholic school upbringing with nuns. He takes a walk with his aged father as they return to the Flint, Mich., where his dad worked for decades.

“This is where I’m coming from. You can take it or leave it,” Moore said. “I’m not into conversions and all that, but I do feel that all people in the media actually have somewhat of a responsibility to lay their cards out on the table.”

The most successful documentary filmmaker in Hollywood history (“Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11”) has never kept his liberal politics secret.

“I think it’s about telling a story,” he said. “I don’t want to ghettoize documentaries or nonfiction film because it’s like the bastard stepchild of cinema and it shouldn’t be.”

(Story continues below)
In “Capitalism,” Moore tackles downsizing 20 years after “Roger & Me,” which saw his hometown of Flint ravaged by General Motors’ exit. He also finds optimism in Chicago, where workers seized a shuttered plant and refused to leave until they were paid. At one point, a priest comes to announce his support and give communion.

“For me personally, that priest there, that’s what I started out to do,” Moore said. “When I was 14 years old, I left home to go to seminary to become a priest. Had I continued down that road, perhaps I would be him there. So (‘Capitalism’) felt very whole in terms of my life and how I’ve tried to live it and what I’ve tried to do.”

- cinesteve@hotmail.com


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