Michael Moore & Barbara Kopple

Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Thu Sep 21 19:52:00 MDT 1995


>Anyway I would like to be able to say whether or not Kopple deliberately
>excluded from her film left wing groups who were involved in strike
>support.  Would be grateful for any replies.


I don't think Kopple deliberatly avoided the left participation. She came
out of a left group herself - no for all you 'jump to conclusioners' not the
CP. I first met her in Cuba where she was showing *Harlan County USA.*

Every left group imaginable from the CP to DSA to SWP to Workers Vampire
...er... <grin> Workers Vanguard was in Austin. I went up there many times
and it was like walking the gauntlet to enter the union hall because there
were dozens of people handing you papers etc. And some groups did develop
more than superfical ties with the workers in Austin. And a lot of us did
support work in local areas.

I don't think Kopple was trying too hard to give a critique of capital and
that is a valid limitation of the film. She was trying to show many sides of
what was a tragic situtation, but limited to a trade union perspecive I
think. I really don't know but my sense is she has moved away from marxism
in a social democratic direction. In 'Harlan County USA' she tryed much more
overtly to show labor v capital. But when she tryed to get explicitly
marxist by quoting a radical that was active in that situation - it was
hilarious and sad at the same time.

Having said that, I think both of her films are good and try to deal
honestly with some important issues.

I didn't say anything the first time around about 'Roger and Me'. While on
the whole I liked the 'expose' nature of it and the anti GM/corporate stance
and the outright bankruptcy and racism of those who kept defending GM. I was
very uncomfortable with some of the 'smartyness' stuff about the average
working folks. Sometimes it came off as very anti-working class a la look at
these idiots. I don't think we should romanticize the working class. There
is no doubt that absent an organized collective struggle many folks went off
in wierd tangents trying for survival - but whats the point - that
capitalist disaster can drive ordinary working people nutty - so what. I was
particulary uncomfortable with two portrayals of women - the woman who
raised rabbits and the woman who tryed to sell cosmetics. I thought that
there was more than a little male supremacy in how they were used in the film.

Scott



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