Roger And Me Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Roger And Me script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Michael Moore movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Roger And Me. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Roger And Me Script



I was kind of a strange child.



My parents knew early on

that something was wrong with me.



I crawled backwards until I was two...



but had Kennedy's inaugural address

memorized by the time I was six.



It all began when my mother didn't

show up for my first birthday party...



because she was having my sister.



My dad tried to cheer me up

by letting me eat the whole cake.



I knew then

there had to be more to life than this.



When I was a kid, I thought only

three people worked for General Motors:



Pat Boone, Dinah Shore and my dad.



Our hometown of Flint, Michigan,

was the birthplace of General Motors...



the largest corporation in the world.



There were more auto factories and

workers here than in any city on Earth.



We built Cadillacs, Buicks,

and Fisher bodies...



GM trucks, Chevrolets,

and AC spark plugs.



We enjoyed a prosperity

that working people had never seen.



And the city was grateful to the company.



With the whole city rocking,

Flint, Michigan, throws a birthday party.



It's for the people of General Motors

on their   th anniversary.



Pat Boone celebrates with a song.



The promise of the future is the keynote

set by GM President, Harlow Curtis.



From the world of TV

comes Sergeant Garcia...



and the swordsman known as Zorro.



But the big hit of the parade...



is the lively marching

of the Elks junior drill team.



The citizens of Flint,

birthplace of General Motors...



also see the radiant Miss America.



This was Flint as I remember,

where every day was a great day.



It's a great day, all right.



A salute to Mr. And Mrs. America.



My dad worked on the assembly line at

GM's AC Spark Plug in Flint for    years.



In fact, as I grew older, I discovered

my entire family had worked for GM:



Grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters,

aunts, uncles, cousins. Everyone but me.



My uncle Laverne

was in the Great Flint Sit-Down Strike.



Just hours before the year's end in     ...



he and thousands of other GM workers

took over the Flint factories...



and barricaded themselves inside,

refusing to budge for    days.



The National Guard was called in,

and the eyes of the world were on Flint.



On February        

General Motors gave in...



and the UAW was born.



The GM employee

has made great advances.



It is our wish that he continue to prosper.



Most of our employees,

even those who at times cause problems...



are conscientious

and hardworking men and women.



Men and women to whose imagination,

ingenuity, energy and dedication...



our country owes

its industrial leadership in the world.



That all sounded fine and good,

but the assembly line wasn't for me.



My heroes were the Flint people

who'd escaped the life in the factory...



and got out of Flint,

like the guys in Grand Funk Railroad...



Casey Kasem, the women who married

Zubin Mehta and Don Knotts...



and perhaps Flint's

most famous native son, Bob Eubanks...



host of TV's hit show

The Newlywed Game.



I figured if Bob Eubanks

could make it out of here, so could I.



After    years of editing my own paper

in Flint...



a California millionaire

asked me to be the editor...



of his muckraking magazine

in San Francisco.



It didn't take me long

to figure out what to do.



The final issue of the Michigan Voice

is being printed.



Ten years after he began it, Michael Moore

is moving to San Francisco.



What would you do?

I mean, this was San Francisco.



But San Francisco was on

the other side of the world from Flint.



Everyone there had a job,

yet no one seemed to be working.



The cafés were filled with people

at  :   p.m.



I was told there's one restaurant

for every    people in San Francisco...



but most of them

seemed to be dessert places.



Trying to get a simple cup of coffee

became a nightmare for me.



Espresso, double espresso,

cappuccino, double cappuccino...



latte, double latte, mocha, double mocha...



caffe con panna, macchiato,

double macchiato...



caffe bianco, or house blend.



I was feeling disoriented living in a town

that didn't carry any nondairy creamer.



I went to work and announced...



that I was going to give a monthly column

to a Flint auto worker.



The owner instead told me to run

an investigative report on herbal teas.



I told him I had a better idea:

Let's put the auto worker on the cover.



The owner wasn't amused and declared

that California and I were a mismatch...



just before he offered me

my free U-Haul back to Michigan.



- Hello, Dad.

- Hello, son.



- It's been a long time.

- It sure has.



- Where's Mom?

- In the kitchen.



Why, your hands are filthy!



- Go upstairs and wash them.

- Okay, Mom.



Okay, so my homecoming

wasn't quite like that.



In fact, I wasn't back in Flint more than

a few days when the bad news hit.



This is the CBS Evening News,

Dan Rather reporting.



Good evening.



General Motors confirmed it today.



It is going to close plants

employing almost       workers.



Today we are announcing the closing...



of    of our older plants.



While Detroit and Pontiac

will certainly be hurt by the shutdowns...



the effect on Flint

is absolutely devastating.



Devastating wasn't the half of it.

Maybe I got this wrong...



but I thought companies lay off people

when they hit hard times.



GM was the richest company

in the world...



and it was closing factories

when it was making profits in the billions.



We do not have any plan

to cut our workforce by      .



That was kind of

a what-happens-if type of thing.



So this was GM chairman Roger Smith.



He appeared to have a brilliant plan:



First close    factories in the U. S...



then open    in Mexico, where

you pay the workers    cents an hour.



Use the money you saved by building cars

in Mexico to take over other companies...



preferably high-tech firms

and weapons manufacturers.



Next, tell the union you're broke...



and they happily give back

a couple of billion dollars in wage cuts.



Then take that money from workers...



and eliminate their jobs

by building more foreign factories.



Roger Smith was a true genius.



I think our employees

have got a new emphasis on job security...



and we want to try

and help them with that.



- What do you have to say to Roger Smith?

- It's gonna be rough.



I can't mention it on television.



This was to be

the first of many layoffs in Flint...



the final day for the GM truck plant.



I think most of you are aware...



that this is the first major plant closing...



to take place in Flint.

Let me rephrase that.



This isn't a plant closing.

It's a loss of one product line.



My friends and I decided to pose

as a TV crew from Toledo...



to sneak inside the factory.



I wasn't exactly sure

what a TV crew from Toledo looked like...



but apparently the ruse worked, as we

filmed the last truck going down the line.



What's everybody so happy about?

We just lost our jobs.



Everybody's applauding.

They just lost their jobs.



We're trying impress upon the employees

that are being laid off...



that there is nothing out there for them...



to depend upon for the future.



The best thing Michigan and GM can do

is get rid of Roger Smith...



and them other sons of bitches.



That seemed to be

the general consensus...



as I talked to many GM workers

about their chairman, Roger Smith.



- What would you like to tell Roger Smith?

- I'd tell him to retire.



He can't look an auto worker

in the eye, because...



- He should be feeling guilty.

- Most people are hungry. He's not.



I'd tell him to get off his big bucks...



and start giving some of it

back to its workers.



I'm sick and tired of these damn fat cats.



I could say a few choice words,

but I'm a lady and I was raised a lady...



so I won't say what I really feel...



but I could use some unsavory language

as far as the fat cats.



Fire Roger Smith!



There were those

who had a different opinion in Flint...



like Tom Kay,

a spokesman and lobbyist for GM.



I'm sure that Roger Smith...



has a social conscience

as strong as anybody else in the country.



Because a guy is an automobile executive

does not make him inhuman.



I've talked to enough of them.

I know what their concerns are.



He has as much concern

about these people as you or I do...



and nobody likes to see anybody laid off

or put in a hardship situation.



- Have you ever talked to Roger Smith?

- Sure.



What kind of man do you find him to be?



A very warm man. I have...



A warm man?



Did I have Roger Smith judged all wrong...



simply because he was eliminating

      jobs from my hometown?



I decided to find out.



I wrote. I phoned. I faxed. I tried

every means of communication available...



but nothing got me any closer to Roger.



I was left with no choice.



I got in the car and drove

about an hour south of Flint to Detroit...



to the world headquarters

of General Motors.



My mission was a simple one:



To convince Roger Smith

to spend a day with me in Flint...



and meet some of the people

who were losing their jobs.



Everybody in?



- Can I help you gentlemen and ladies?

- Yes, we're going to the   th floor.



- Do you have an appointment?

- No, we don't.



- I think you need an appointment.

- To go up there?



- How can we make one?

- You want to step out...



- First of all, anything above...

- We came down from Flint.



Anything above the first level here

is private property. That's off-limits.



- This is all off-limits. It's a security area.

- This is? All right.



Listen, who did you want to talk to?



- I want to talk to Roger Smith.

- I'll get a PR man and we'll see.



- What kind of movie are you making?

- It's a documentary on Flint.



On the labor problems?



The whole situation,

the plant shutdowns, the layoffs.



We'll try to have someone contact you

as soon as someone's available.



- All right, I'd appreciate it.

- Have you got some kind of credentials?



- Where they can contact you?

- What's your name?



Herb Slaughter.

I'll give you a business card.



Let's see, I've got a frequent-flier card...






I was having a hard time finding my

business card, because I don't have any.



So I gave Mr. Slaughter my discount pass

to Chuck E. Cheese...



but he said that wouldn't get me in

to see Mr. Smith.



So I headed back to Flint for further

guidance from GM lobbyist Tom Kay.



General Motors wouldn't be doing

anybody any service if it goes bankrupt.



It has to do what it has to do...



in order to stay competitive

in today's economic climate.



Even if it means eliminating       jobs?



Even if it means eliminating       jobs.



- Or      ?

- Whatever.



How about all the jobs here in Flint?



It could feasibly happen.



Good evening, I'm Sue Zelenko.

Bill Harris has the night off.



It was where the UAW was born.



Tonight      people are trying to decide

what to do with their lives.



Nobody was ready for the announced

plant shutdowns today...



least of all, the      workers.



The last truck chassis headed

down the line this morning.



Virtually all the      people are on layoff.



Larry Elliot was at the plant today...



as that last car was making its way

down the assembly line.



Will this plant build engines again

if the rush back to small cars occurs?



The answer is no.



In Flint, Joe Weaver,

Channel   Eyewitness News.



More factories had closed...



and I began to see the effect

this was having on my friends.



Ben was the worker I'd put on the cover

of that magazine in San Francisco.



He'd been laid off

five times in five years from GM.



Expecting to be laid off again, he cracked

one night working on the assembly line.



He was now shooting hoop

at the local mental health center.



I couldn't take it. I told the guy next to me:



''Tell the foreman I'm sick.

I don't give a shit what you tell him.''



I grabbed my coat, flew out the door,

passed the guards...



jumped into my car,

got onto Bristol Road...



and was flying toward my apartment.



I turned on the radio,

hoping that might cheer me up...



I had tears coming out of my eyes...



and I strike right into the middle

of Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys.



And I'm thinking, ''What a horrible song...



''to have to hear

in the midst of this panic attack.''



A song that I'd usually

get a groove going with.



I'm trying to sing the lyrics,

and I've got an apple in my throat.



I'm trying to rationalize with those lyrics...



trying to think, ''Wouldn't it be nice? ''

And it just wasn't working.



Some disturbing news today from

the Genesee County Health Department.



It announced the rat population in Flint...



has now surpassed

the human population by      .



Health officials say it's due

to massive numbers of people leaving...



and the city cutting back

to twice-monthly garbage collection...



due to budget constraints.



Just when things were looking bleak,

Ronald Reagan arrived in Flint...



and took a dozen unemployed workers

out for a pizza.



He told them he had a great idea.

If they tried it, they'd all be working again.



He suggested that maybe some of us...



could find better jobs elsewhere...



like in Texas, or in the southern states.



That's when I spoke up...



because I have a son, a home.



I'm trying to do it by myself. I can't just

pull up stakes and take off by myself.



We don't hold public office,

we're nobody special...



but he wanted our opinions and views.



It was at a level I could understand,

and I liked his ideas...



that he voiced to us.



None of Reagan's luncheon guests

got back into the factory in later years.



The only bright spot of the whole affair...



was the individual who borrowed

the restaurant's cash register...



on the way out the door.



Meanwhile, Flint's more fortunate were

holding their annual Great Gatsby Party...



at the home

of one of GM's founding families.



To show they weren't totally insensitive

to the plight of others...



they hired local people

to be human statues at the party.



What's it like in Flint these days?



Things are tough here

for the people that are laid off.



There's still people working.



I don't think it's as bad

as people may believe.



We started something,

and we're gonna finish it.



- We're gonna be the leaders.

- What did we start?



We started the industrial revolution...



an art form that's never been created

in the history of mankind.



- What was that industrial revolution?

- The cars. Steel.



It took off from there.

We invented the wheel again.



We're off again and running.



What advice do you have

for those having a rough go of it?



Get up in the morning

and go do something.



Start yourself. Get your own motor going.

There's things to do out there.



I don't think it's fair to pick on

the negative things and publicize them...



and not pick up

any of the good aspects about Flint.



What are some of those good aspects?



- The ballet. Your kids were involved in it.

- Ballet. Hockey. It's a great place to live.



Sheriff's department. Anybody home?






I had found one man in Flint

with a secure job:



Sheriff's deputy Fred Ross.



I treat a person

the way I would like to be treated.



You know, I explain to them

that I got a job to do.



The court issued the order, not me.



If you can make peace

with your landlord, good.



If you can't, you've got a problem.



I've put out some good people.



You have a lot of people in this town

paying $    to $    a month house note.



That's a lot of money

to try to pay on unemployment.



Some of these people

don't want to leave...



especially older people.



Some of them have retired from the shop.



Taxes catch a lot of them, too.



So if things go down,

they close up some plants here...



this town is gonna be a rough place.



I continued my search for Roger.



I scoured the neighborhoods

of Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Woods...



Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park...



Grosse Pointe Shores,

and Bloomfield Hills.



I tried in vain to locate his house...



but the name Smith

was a common one among these people.



I then read that Roger was going to be

at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.



I decided to drop in on the affair.



I haven't seen him.



- You haven't seen him here yet?

- Just a moment.



- Are you calling him?

- Who, Roger Smith?



You want me to call Roger Smith?



I'm trying to get the manager to see

if anybody knows anything about him.



I'm sure he said the Grosse Pointe.

I mean it wasn't him...



Who, his office?



- Why don't we call his office and find out?

- We could do that.



I have a television crew down here

with Michael Moore.



He's supposed to meet Roger Smith

at noon. I have no information.



How often does Mr. Smith come here

for lunch or dinner?



Last time I saw him here

was for Sportsmen's Night.



- What's that?

- It's a wild game dinner.



- You go and shoot your own animal?

- Pardon me?



You go and shoot your animals

and bring them here to eat...



Some of the stuff is donated.



There are foods like rattlesnake...



Let me think of some real exotic foods.






- You eat this stuff here?

- Roast beef.



That sounds better.



I obviously had the wrong yacht club,

because Roger was nowhere to be found.



I didn't have more time to waste here,

because back at Flint's county fair...



thousands of people were being

entertained by the diving donkeys...



anxiously awaiting the return

of our boyhood hero...



as he made his triumphant return

home to Flint.



From Genesee County Fair,

the newlywed capital of the world...



here come the newlyweds!



A big hand. This is your part...



There they come.



Yes, it's The Newlywed Game...



and these are

our newlywed couples for today.



Let's all meet the host and star

of The Newlywed Game:



Bob Eubanks!



Hello, everybody. Welcome.

How nice of you to come here today.



Welcome to the opening of...

Hi, Mom. How are you doing?



You devil, you!



What about questions like,

''How heavy are your wife's breasts? ''



I never ask that. I say,

''What does your wife's chest weigh? ''



There's a lot of difference

in that question you just asked...



A hell of a lot of difference.

That's where I think we get a bad rap.



People like yourself

will quote a question like that.



I wouldn't ask that question for anything.

I wouldn't even say ''breasts.''



First question. These are easy questions.



Ladies, how much did your husband say

your chest weighs?



- Gladys, what do you say, sweetheart?

- Two pounds.



Two pounds!

He said six-and-a-half ounces.



I said, ''Both of them.''

He said, ''That is both of them.''



I said, ''I'm sorry.''

He said, ''Not as sorry as I am.''



Bob was right. He didn't say "breasts"

and I considered apologizing...



for implying that his show

wasn't wholesome family entertainment.



You know why

Jewish women don't get AIDS?



Because they marry assholes,

they don't screw them. Pardon me.



Ladies and gentlemen,

that's all for this afternoon.



If I made you smile one time, I'm happy.

I had a good time. I hope you did, too.



Until next time.

We'll be back every night...



I'm Bob Eubanks. So long, everybody.

See you then.



I was born here in Flint,

but I don't know anything about it.



I can only tell you this about this town:



It's pretty...



and the people are nice.



I don't know much about the economy,

but I can take you to places in the U. S...



much worse off than Flint, Michigan.

I don't think it's such a bad town.



With       jobs now eliminated,

the city decided to turn to the one event...



that had always made us so happy:

The big parade...



this time honoring the surviving

Flint Sit-Down Strikers.



The highlight of the parade

was Miss Michigan, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko.



Passing by dozens of boarded-up stores

and hundreds of jobless Flint citizens...



she was an inspiring sight to all present.



How do you feel

about the economy in Flint?



The factories all shutting down?



This isn't my interview yet.

This is my time for enjoyment.



All kinds of important people showed up

to march in the parade...



like the governor of Michigan,

James Blanchard.



How do you feel about General Motors

closing up these factories in Flint?



It's tragic.



Do you think

we need another sit-down strike?



That won't do any good.

That's the problem.



Is this a great time for a parade?



I think so, too. Let's have a fun time!



Give your life to Jesus today.



Jesus Christ loves you.

Give your life to Jesus.



Tell your viewers they need Jesus!

Give your life to Jesus.



How could you have a parade

for the founders...



without inviting the current president

of the United Auto Workers, Owen Bieber?



I don't know that

we need another sit-down strike per se.



A sit-down strike today

would not necessarily resemble...



or be able to bring about

the same thing that it did in     .



The union is getting weaker.

We're losing power.



Why? Because there's

too many guys in the union...



that are friends with the management.



Some plants that are announced

to be closed obviously will be closed.



We have to accept the reality

that they're just not going to remain open.



I think that with the spirit here...



Flint will continue not only to survive,

but will continue to grow.



Some people know what time it is.

Some people don't.



Miss Michigan, could we talk to you

for one second?



Your face looks familiar. Was this

when you caught me on the road?



Yes, back in the parade. How does it feel

driving through Flint, Michigan, today...



and so many people being laid off,

so many plants being shut down?



- How does it feel? I feel like a supporter.

- Of?



- Does it matter of what?

- A supporter of General Motors?



Of just being here for the people.

Is it the parade?



When you pass stores that are boarded-up

and people that are laid off...



how does that make you feel

on a personal level?



A little sad.

Of course, I'm for employment...



and working in Michigan.



And, hopefully, it's just temporarily.



So, I just keep my fingers crossed

that they'll be back working soon.



I'm trying to stay neutral. I'm going to

Miss America in two weeks, and I don't...



- It's a great day for a parade, isn't it?

- It's beautiful. I can't believe the crowd.



It's the largest parade I've been in...



and I've been in over    since June.



It's wonderful. I love coming back to Flint.

It's my third trip here, and I love it.



Any message to the people of Flint?



Keep your fingers crossed for me

as I go for the gold in two weeks...



and hopefully bring back a crown

for Flint and the Michigan state.



Two weeks later, she got her wish.



Our new Miss America...



Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, Miss Michigan!



This is probably Number   

I've been here and evicted someone.



- From this house?

- Yes.



Daryl? Sheriff's department.



Get your clothes on.

We're here to put you out.



- Here to do what?

- Evict you from the house. Right now.



People stay up all night and sleep all day.



Deputy Fred seemed

especially busy these days.



After doing    evictions in one day...



he arrived to evict a woman

who was a month behind in her rent.



She quickly got the landlord on the phone.



After telling him that

a film crew had arrived with the sheriff...



the landlord told Fred

not to evict the woman and her children.



It had leaked so much,

this whole area was bulging down.



My oldest son... I moved his bed,

I was scared the ceiling would fall.



But nobody was there at the time it fell.



It needed to be painted outside.

The aluminum siding outside, I put on.



I paid for it and had it put on.



See my new siding? It does look better.



You put that on since last time I was here.

You've spent a lot of money.



It looked like

the raggediest house on the block.



These houses look nice

and I was embarrassed about it.



The deal was pretty good,

so I worked with it.



- What will happen to this woman?

- End up putting her out...



unless her new husband

comes up with the money.



I can't imagine somebody getting married

to someone as poor as you.



It gets kind of rough.

Put two poor people in the same house...



I always tell women, ''You can be poor

by yourself, you don't need help.''



And she just got some help being poor.



Three days later,

Fred put the woman and her kids out.



- Hi, can I help you?

- We're looking for Roger Smith.



We're wondering if he's here.



I have no idea if he's here or not,

but you'll have to leave the club.



- Why's that?

- It's a private club.



- Has he been here today?

- To my knowledge, he has not.



- Does he come here often?

- I really don't know.



- Is he a member here?

- He is a member.



But you don't know if he's been here?



We don't keep track of our membership.

You'll have to leave the club, sir.



- It is a private building.

- You'd know if he...



- Sir, we'll have to ask you to leave.

- I just want to find out...



Sorry, you'll have to leave the club.

Call General Motors. Check with them.



We have called GM. We can't get in there.



If you can't get in there, you can't

get in here. Would you mind leaving?



- We could just wait.

- No, you can't.



They say you must leave the building, sir.

You have to step outside.



We'll come back.



I'll be right here.

They told me to take you outside.



You may wait outside. If he comes in,

you can interview him outside.



You may not interview him in here.



You don't remember the last time

he was here?



- That means nothing.

- When the chairman of GM is in here?



That doesn't impress me.



It doesn't impress you?

The chairman of GM?



The chairman of General Motors is just

another member of our organization.



He's an important individual, but no more

important than any other member.



I wasn't having much success

bringing Roger to Flint.



The mayor, though, was having better luck

with an even higher authority.



He paid TV evangelist

Robert Schuller $     ...



to come to Flint and rid the city

of its unemployment plague.



Tough times don't last,

but tough people do.



Thousands filled the city's hockey arena

to hear his message of hope.



Pull your way out of poverty!



You won't pull your way

from poverty to prosperity...



until you realize you have to be

humble enough to say, "I need help."



By then what happens is

you can turn your hurt into a halo.



The sorrow becomes a servant.



Just because you've got problems...



is no excuse to be unhappy.



Maybe Reverend Schuller was right.



Things could be worse,

and there was much to be thankful for...



like the Star Theatre of Flint...



funded with GM money

to provide entertainment and escape...



during Flint's hard times.



Buick City, this is called.



Rednecks, hardhat automotive workers.



We bring Broadway

and the theater to them...



in this beautiful edifice.

But that takes money, time, effort, energy.



Bobby Vinton opened our season.

It was    percent sold out. It was a big hit.



He has charisma. Came into the audience,

spent about    minutes with them...



fussing with the ladies, kissing,

and they loved him.



He got standing ovations every night.



Peggy Lee came.

She wasn't the greatest hit.



But she had her cult

from surrounding areas.



Her cult love her.

Those who came absolutely loved her.



Standing ovations, bravos, cheers...

They were crazy about her.



Last year, Mitzi Gaynor came here

with her show.



She brings    wonderful

boy dancers with her.



She makes    changes. The boys make   .



When they're on, she's off.

She's on, they're off, changing costumes.



One production number after another.



You'd be surprised. Some of those

hard-hat factory workers say, ''Hey! ''



They present their badge or identification,

so they can come at a half-price ticket...



to keep them coming

when they're having hard times.



Long before she sold orange juice...



Anita Bryant sold spark plugs

for General Motors' AC division.



She used to perform for General Motors

when I was a child.



I remember her carrying around

a giant spark plug...



and singing You'll Never Walk Alone.



Now she was back in Flint,

offering advice to the unemployed.



Opportunities are still in Flint, Michigan.

They're still in America.



Hang in there. Take a day at a time.



Go forward and be positive about life.



Don't feel regretful or guilty

about the past, or worry about the future.



You have today. Today's a new day.



It's an opportunity for you

to look about you...



and look at the positive within yourself

and within your community.



I read something interesting.

Margaret Thatcher says:



''Cheer up, America.

You live in a great country.



''You're a free country.

You have a great President.



''Not everything's perfect, but cheer up,

because you live in a free America.''



So, we live in a free society.



Today is a new day, an opportunity

to do something with yourself.



If nothing else,

thank God for the sunshine...



and for the fact

that you're not starving to death.



Go out and do something with your hands.

I don't know.



Flint is bedrock America.



People here don't quit or give up.



They know there've been many good times

in the past, and there's more...



of good, productive time ahead.



It was like I was reliving my childhood.



First Anita,

and now "Mr. Chevrolet" himself.



Pat Boone had arrived in Flint

just when we needed him.



I look the same.

I liked you the moment I saw you.



More people identified me

with Chevrolet...



than any other sponsor,

and any other spokesman.



Since my family was getting bigger,

we were having a baby a year...



I needed a station wagon.

So each year I worked for Chevrolet...



I had a Corvette

and a station wagon to use.



That strengthened my feeling that this

was a great sponsor and a great product...



which I could whole-heartedly endorse

on television, and did.



Take a look at Chevrolet's '   Corvette.



What a beauty!



I own and drive one of these myself.

I can vouch for them.



The sweetest-handling baby

on the road today.



Chevrolet's completely new in style.

It's the longest, too.



Have you ever met Roger Smith,

the chairman of General Motors?



I haven't. At least, I don't think I have.



If I had, it would have been

before he was chairman...



years ago, during my involvement.

I don't think we've met.



So you don't know much about him?



I don't know much about him. He seems

to be a very optimistic, can-do kind of guy.



He's not a quitter.



I knew you'd rather have a Buick.

See you later.



Who's to blame

for what's happened in Flint?



I don't think it's anybody's fault.



In a free society,

in a capitalistic, democratic society...



things do change.

There are shifts and trends.



I'm sure General Motors

doesn't have any desire...



to either close down a plant

or put people out of work.



The key becomes the attitude.



Folks wind up saying, ''It was

the best thing that happened to me...



''when my job at the plant phased out.

I was only gonna go so far at the plant.



''Now I've got my own business,

whatever it is.''



It's maybe no accident...



that the Amway business, for one,

is in aid of Michigan...



offering anybody, for very little money,

a chance to start earning dollars...



having their own store in their home.



If you have a dream, and you

go after your dream, you can do it.



If you do it full-time,

you can really make good money.



You can make a lot of money off of these.



Janet was one of hundreds of

Flint's citizens who had taken Pat's advice.



Although her husband

was still working at GM...



she'd seen many of her friends laid off,

and didn't want to take any chances.



She'd been the founder and host

of Flint's feminist radio show.



Now she was a distributor for Amway.



Color is my main love.



I got color-analyzed myself a couple

of years prior to learning color consulting.



As soon as I found out

what season I was...



it changed my outlook. I went around

draping everyone with my eyes.



I really wanted to get into this business.

It was exciting to me.



About    percent of the world's population

is winter or summer.



Blacks, Jews, Italians

most often are winters.



I start with the orange and pink drape.



The reason is

because I want to put you into a family:



The warm family or the cool family.



People who are warm

have a yellow undertone to their skin.



The orange drape

brings the yellow undertone out...



and makes them look really good.



If you put orange

on someone who has a blue undertone...



which would be the pink, or cool, family...



then their face will get real pale...



or they'll look real tired...



or they'll get a lot of ruddiness

come out on their face.



So I like to put what I think

is the wrong color on you first...



then I can compare it to the right color.



That way it will really improve

how you look.



What usually happens

is what I'm seeing happen to her.



She gets jaundice

when you put orange on her.



She turns yellow, looks a little bit sickly.



You might not even see it that much now,

but let's compare it to the pink.



I get a small commission

on every account.



Join up and find out. It's good!



Three months after we attended

Janet's Amway meeting...



she phoned in a panic

and asked that we come back...



as she'd made a terrible mistake.



I've very recently learned

that I am not an autumn.



I was color-analyzed

by someone in the IMS line...



who are the people

who taught me to do colors.



I've discovered that I am another season.



It's a warm season, like autumn,

but it's spring instead.



The colors that I wear

are basically the same color family...



but they're lighter and brighter.



It's really a shock to me,

because I am out there...



color-analyzing women all the time.

Little did I know...



that I was not the season

that I was telling people I was.



I felt sorry for Janet.

So, to cheer her up, I let her do my colors.



As it turned out,

we were the same season.



There were other ways to survive in Flint.



Taco Bell was one.



The local Taco Bell

was retraining laid-off auto workers...



to assemble tacos and chicken fajitas.



The local paper said

this would be their dream job.



When I stopped by to see

how they were doing...



the manager told me

why all the ex-GM workers had been fired.



Many of them say

this is a lot of hard work...



because assembly work is easy.

It depends on what you make it.



At Taco Bell, every day's a new day.



Every time you turn around,

it's a different challenge.



- Taco Light.

- One Taco Light.



- Would you like Cinnamon Crispas?

- Yeah, you make it sound so good.



Dining here today?



Fast food is one of the most

stressful environments...



because of the demands on you.



Fast food demands a fast pace...



because we want to present a food item...



within so many seconds, if we can do it.



The transaction from assembly work

and the fast pace at Taco Bell...



Some of them

just couldn't develop that speed.



There's a number of small manufacturing

companies that have done very well.



One I like to look at is Helmac Co.

Are you familiar with them?



They invented a lint roller.



Now they ship lint rollers

all over the world...



and have a very profitable,

nice business operating.



Maybe there's a...



- There's all kinds of opportunities...

- Tom, wait a minute.



Lint rollers?

That's the solution to an auto industry...



That's an example.



A giant auto industry

that had its birthplace here in Flint?



Lint rollers will pull us

out of this depression?



There's as much opportunity here...



as when Billy Durant started

the motor company on Water Street.



Maybe more opportunities.



- You believe that?

- Yes, I do. Absolutely.



I saw the sign down on the street...



that said you're selling

rabbits and bunnies here?



- For sale?

- You want pets or meat?



Pets or meat?



Meaning I can buy the bunnies

to have as a pet...



or I can buy them for...



Meat. They're already dressed

and cleaned.



I butcher the babies

when they are four or five months old.



That's good.



If you butcher the older ones,

like these guys...



then they're stewers. They're not fryers.



A lot of people like fryers

better than they do the stewers.



- That makes sense.

- So I keep my personal stock.



When my babies get four or five

months old, and I have    to    babies...



you've got to get rid of them some way.



If they don't sell as pets,

you got to get rid of them as meat.



Them guys are all meat.



- See, they start doing this to each other.

- What's that?



Peeing on each other and stuff like that,

when they get older.



If you don't have separate cages for them,

then they start fighting.



Then the males castrate the other males.



They do. They chew their balls right off.

Then you have a bloody mess.



That's why you got to butcher them

when they're a certain age...



or you have a heck of a mess.



I'm on social security.



The only other income I have

is my rabbits...



for groceries, bills, and my dogs.



I also raise Doberman pinschers.



Because sometimes

I only make $   to $   a week...



but that's better than nothing. At least

I can buy $   to $   worth of groceries.



'Cause you only get paid once a month

from social security...



and that's not very much.



It's really popular.

A lot of people come down here.



Usually some people come down.



They're only open on Mondays, Tuesdays,

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.



Saturday and Sunday, they're closed.



On the holidays, they get...



like, $  to $  bonus here and there.



If you're doing this every day,

isn't your arm filled with needle marks?



They only keep it in one certain spot.



You keep it right there. Doesn't look bad.



I take some rubbing alcohol

to get the scar tissue to heal up.



Can we see it?



I only do it in my right arm.



It's not so bad.



They only do it in a certain place,

in a certain spot.



It's right here.



They don't track it up.

They only do it in two places.



No! My baby!



Oh, God!



Flint is best known

for its principal industry.



But it's quickly gaining notoriety

as a major crime center.



It's a record year for homicides

in the Vehicle City.



According to the FBI, Flint now has

the highest violent crime rate in America.



... crime rate is one of the highest

on the continent.



A big part of the problem

is there aren't enough jail cells...



for all the criminals.



- I got it.

- I don't think that target would have lived.



I got two out of the ring there.



- You got three out the ring, son.

- Yes, sir.



Where is my third one?



Here's two here.

Where's the third one out of the ring?



Okay, that one's out of the ring.



Your biggest problem

is your barrel length.



We usually tell them that probably

their best protection for home...



is the short-barreled shotgun.



- Why is that?

- It's easy to handle...



and if you do have to shoot,

you're not liable to miss.



And when they hear that pump gun...



when you rack that,

there's no other sound like it.



Usually you don't have to fire it.



They get moving pretty fast.

They'll move away.



They don't like the sound.



They know exactly what you have.



You don't have to say,

''I have a gun in my hand.''



They know it'll really tear them up.



With higher unemployment

creating more crime in Flint...



General Motors and the United Auto

Workers' union came up with a novel idea.



Train the ex-auto workers to be prison

guards and give them jobs in the jails...



now filling up

with their former line mates.



It's kind of sad in a way

to see somebody that you know...



or had done something with

on the outside being in jail...



or sentenced to prison

or something like that.



But I guess it's, you know...

The theory goes, you play, you pay.



And you get over it.



I'd have a possibility to move on.



That's what this    -hour program

was all about.



I have a certificate now, stating that

I can apply anywhere in the United States.



The money's not an object right now.



If I can improve myself, morally,

the money will come later.



It's almost half

of what I was making at General Motors...



- but I like the work a lot better.

- You'll do what?



It's not as hot.



You don't scare me by saying that.

I'll screw your fucking ass!



I don't care what you think! I'll screw you!



You'll cope with me in a few days,

I'm telling you that now!



You don't scare me! I know my rights!



- I went to school, okay?

- What's going on?



Someone in a heated discussion

down there, I guess.



I'm going to jump you! I'll get you, man!



...a staff member is a violation of that rule.



I don't respect you!



When you give me respect, I'll respect you.



- Take it easy.

- I know my rights!



I really don't know the answer.

I feel sorry for people...



but you can't help them. I mean,

you have such a good welfare program.



So, they just don't want to work.



I don't think so. I really don't know.



- Good shot.

- That's nice.



All four of us have always lived in Flint

and gone to school here.



We just love it so.



- What do you love about it?

- I personally love our friends, you know.



And we like our club, and we like...



all the stores and...



you know, what's left of them.



I think everybody should...



try to find another job, or do

something else in training, or something.



You think a lot of people are being lazy?



I think some of them.



I think a lot of them

take the easy way out.



Judge issued the order

to vacate the house.



- Right now?

- Yes, ma'am.



Okay, that's the least he can do.

I'll go get a truck.



- Today?

- Right now.



Can't you wait till we get a truck?



You can get the truck,

but they got a crew on the way here.



They stopped at the store to get a pop.

I'd get dressed if I was you.



We got to vacate the house.



We're doing more evictions,

more repossessions, and everything...



way behind, trying to catch up.



A lot of these people bought

school clothes and didn't pay the rent.



The system's got to change...



because if they didn't have enough money

to pay rent and buy clothes...



they're in trouble, anyway.



I've put out some of my best friends,

but it's nothing personal, you know.



They know me, they know what I do, so...



If they're lucky enough to draw me...



at least they got somebody to talk to.






These people couldn't find a truck.

They called two or three different places.



They called U-Haul...



and they said all their trucks

were out for today.



They called Ryder Truck, and they said

all of theirs were out for today.



A gentleman came by, we hauled him

down, and he didn't want to get involved.



So now I assume they're on the phone,

trying to get a trailer...



from Mark's Trailer Rental

up on Carpenter Road.



Why are all the trucks being rented here?



People are probably moving.



With GM closing,

there are so many people leaving town.



We've handled

over       address changes.



We're having a lot of people

just abandon their house sometimes.



Thank God we're getting

new equipment here.



We're getting new higher-tech computers

that will be able to process more mail.



I don't foresee this job evaporating.



I feel we're secure in forwarding mail.



Usually we see somebody every day

that we know...



that's moved on, left town.



A lot of people are looking

for work elsewhere.



My husband's currently laid off, and we're

giving some thought to it ourselves.



The GM layoff.



We have been having so many trucks...



go one-way to places like Florida...



and places south of here.



We have a very hard time

keeping trucks in the Flint area.



It's expected we'll get some

of our fleet back towards midsummer...



but with the layoffs coming heavier...



it's going to be very hard

to keep a truck around here.



I continued to dog Roger

all over the country.



From Detroit to Chicago...



to Washington, D.C., to New York City.



I followed a trail of three-martini lunches

in pursuit of the chairman.



I finally found Roger at the

Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City...



where he was getting an award

for the car of the year.



We weren't in the hotel five minutes...



when GM security recognized

one of our crew members...



as a relative of their arch nemesis,

Ralph Nader.



They called the New York City police

and carried him out...



chair and all,

down to precinct headquarters.



As soon as I could,

I headed to Detroit to Roger's office...



where I was determined this time

to get on to the   th floor.



Excuse me.



- Where are you guys going?

- We're going up to the   th floor.



- Do you have an appointment?

- We're going to see Roger Smith.



No, you're not. You're not getting

on one of those elevators.



- Why's that?

- You're not going without an appointment.



Can we go up

and try making an appointment?






I need Tony or Denise.



- The reason to talk to Roger Smith?

- Michael Moore.



No, what's your reason

for seeing Roger Smith?



- Excuse me. I need to see you.

- We're making a film...



I quickly sized up the situation:



Three guards in the booth,

plus the one with the corsage...



a dozen security cameras...



and four new cars with inflated

sticker prices parked in the lobby.



If I made a run for it to Roger's office,

what's the worst that could happen?



Before I could fully explore

the consequences of such an action...



my escorts to the   th floor finally arrived.



Mr. Smith is not in at the present time.



We'd be happy to take your request under

advisement, as with all appointments.



I've been told that before. I've called,

written, and I've been here before.



- Have you written?

- Yes, I've written.



- To whom?

- To Roger Smith...



General Motors building,

Grand Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.



John, how about we have a letter

sent to your office?



Why don't you send a letter to us...



and we will be happy to,

as I say, take it under advisement...



just as we do all requests

to see the chairman.



It's just that I've been waiting for a year

to get this.



It's been under advisement for a long time.



What I'd like to do

is just go up to the   th floor...



and set up an appointment

with his secretary.



That would be impossible.



Obviously, I was getting

the big blowoff once again.



Meanwhile, things weren't getting better

back in Flint.



More jobs had been eliminated.



The city had become

the unemployment capital of the country.



The visits from the stars

and the creation of new jobs...



had failed to pull Flint

out of its depression.



Just when it appeared

that all hope was lost...



the city fathers came up

with one last great idea.



You don't usually think of

tourist attraction when you think of Flint...



but people here in Flint

would like to change that.



And they're willing to go

to some pretty extreme lengths.



Flint officials would like to see

the local tourist economy explode.



Flint's Convention and Tourism

Bureau president...



says visitors should take advantage

of Flint's convenient location.



Millions of travelers pass by our doorstep.



Now, with this active

and aggressive promotion...



we'll be able to draw them into our city

and experience what we have to offer.



As part of the plan

to attract tourism and conventions...



the city spent $   million in tax funds

to build a Hyatt Regency Hotel.



Although most people in Flint were now

too poor to afford a room at the Hyatt...



the hotel allowed the public

on opening day...



to come and ride the city's only escalator.



We put a luxury hotel

in the heart of our city...



just like other cities

with their luxury hotels...



with everything from the fountains

and high ceilings...



the atrium lobby, to the large windows,

the large plants.



The quality is there...



what you would find

in Chicago, or Atlanta, or San Francisco.



We've got some great facilities,

as far as places to stay...



interesting places to see, museums...



And it's a nice community to visit.



Meet Mr. And Mrs. Roberts.



They're two of the thousands of people...



who decide to spend some time

at Genesee County each year.



There's the sign. We're almost there.



I can hardly wait to see some of the places

in the brochures.



Let's pull off and fill up first.



- You from out of town?

- Yeah, we're on vacation.



Welcome to Flint. You staying here?



Yeah, we are. Lots to do?



Sure, there's lots of attractions here.

Have you seen Crossroads Village?



See how a little hospitality, right

from the start, really makes a difference?



Suggesting things to see and do

builds our own image...



and it creates

positive word-of-mouth endorsements...



the most inexpensive, yet most valuable

type of advertising there is.



Once again, you see our slogan:

''Flint: Our new spark will surprise you.''



Capturing a lot of enthusiasm.



Letting people know there are some

new and surprising things in the Flint area.



This is our visitors' log book.

I see West Germany here, Australia.



Jackie, what are some of the things

that visitors ask us?



First off, ''Where is the bathroom? ''



That's the question I get asked most.



Then, ''What is there to do in Flint? ''



The city had a hard time attracting

major conventions to the Hyatt.



It settled for groups like the Michigan

Ready Mix Concrete Association...



and the statewide organization

of Scrabble players.



On this last game,

I made a seven-letter word, ''partier.''






So we looked in the Scrabble bible,

which is this dictionary...



and it isn't allowed there.



They allow ''partied,'' P-A-R-T-l-E-D...



and ''parties,'' P-A-R-T-l-E-S...



but no ''partier.''

So don't claim you are one ever.



Flint's leaders needed more tourists.



They hired the company that built

New York's South Street Seaport...



to come to Flint

and create Water Street Pavilion.



We took a four-square-block area,

tore it down...



and built this new facility...



which is a lot of glass and steel,

as well as plants...



and different colors

to make it festive, fun and exciting.



Also, a major parking ramp...



and some other facilities

connected with the building.



It's more than just another building

in downtown Flint.



I like the color and the excitement of it.

It's very good for tourism in our area.



A major stop for the bus tours

that come to our area.



They pull up, park the bus,

and unload    senior citizens or so.



Water Street brings a fun atmosphere

that comes with a festival marketplace...



much like other festival marketplaces

around the country.



But the crowning jewel in Flint's plan

to attract tourists was Auto World...



hailed by city officials

as the world's largest indoor theme park.



Today is the first day...



of the rebirth...



of the great city of Flint.



The governor had reason to be excited.



Donny and Marie had come

to celebrate the opening of Auto World...



constructed at a cost

of over $    million...



and dedicated to the belief

that the automobile made America great.



I paid my $ .   and saw something

I hadn't seen in a long time...



downtown Flint, rebuilt exactly to scale...



under the glass-enclosed dome

of Auto World...



to look like it used to

before the factory closings.



They predicted

a million tourists would come...



to ride the world's only

indoor Ferris wheel...



to gaze at the world's largest car engine...



and to meet the official sponsors

of the American dream.



My favorite was the exhibit sponsored

by General Motors.



A puppet auto worker...



singing a love song to the robot

replacing him on the assembly line.



The song was called Me and My Buddy.



Auto World will make

a major contribution...



to our important

tourism and travel industry.



It's not only a contribution to that,

but as the mayor said:



''To jobs for our people,

our children, our neighbors.''



The million tourists never came to Flint.



The Hyatt went bankrupt

and was put up for sale.



Water Street Pavilion saw

most of its stores go out of business.



And, only six months after opening...



Auto World closed due to a lack of visitors.



I guess it was like

expecting a million people a year...



to go to New Jersey to Chemical World,

or to Valdez, Alaska, to Exxon World.



Some people just don't like to celebrate

human tragedy while on vacation.



It started to get looking like Toronto...



upper middle-class

black and white people...



and everybody was dressed nice.



We thought it would be

the entertainment center of the county...



in all truth.

That may be naive, but that was my goal.



Let's make it the entertainment center...



so that everybody wants to be

in downtown Flint.



We're going to have

entertainment and art.



It's going to be very cultural,

it going to be very upbeat.



Somebody said something to me,

and maybe it's true.



They said, ''Look, Maxine...



''you can't make Palm Beach

out of the Bowery.



''You want to make Palm Beach,

you got to go there.''



Half of Flint was now receiving

some form of government welfare.



Meanwhile, Roger Smith

gave himself a $        raise.



GM lobbyist Tom Kay tried to explain.



I don't understand your connection,

that by saying...



because General Motors was born here,

it owes more to this community.



- I don't agree with that.

- Why not?



Because I just don't agree with it.

I believe it's a corporation.



It's in business to make a profit.

It does what it has to do to make a profit.



That's the nature of corporations

or companies.



It's why people take their own money

and invest it in a business...



so they can make money.



It isn't to honor their hometown.



What's going on here?



They're evicting somebody from his home.



I was just wondering.



It turned out that the guy Deputy Fred

was evicting had gone to my high school.



His name was James Bond.



As if that hadn't

caused him enough grief...



he was now being thrown out of his home.



Where can I go to stay?



We had five kids

at the place where I was this morning.



And you went over there

and evicted them?



- Set them out on the ground.

- Why is that?



Because they didn't pay the rent.

You think I like this?



I got other things to do.



- You've been doing it a long time.

- It's a job.



- What can I say? It's a job.

- It's a job.



Somebody's got to do it.



I feel sorry for the people that have kids.



What will they grow up to?

What do they look forward to?



- Lf I was a young man, I'd keep working.

- Look out there. It's nothing.



- They got a bleak future.

- I know. I worked over there for    years.



- I quit. I worked there.

- Why did you quit?



Got tired of the system.



It was like a prison to me, so I quit.



It was like a prison?



That factory played tricks on your mind.



- Where are you going to stay?

- I'll probably stay at my brother's tonight.



The thing is,

I don't want to stay with somebody.



I want a chance

to have something of my own...



which doesn't look

like it's going to happen, ever.



Not in this town.



These are rough times.



Really rough times.

I got thrown out of my house once.



The health inspector came out...



and told me that I was dressing my rabbits

in a unsanitary condition.



So now I have to build me a building...



where there's washable walls,

washable floors...



and an unbreakable light.



I have to have a scale

that weighs properly...



and I have to have three sinks

where I dress the rabbits.



- What's going to happen to him?

- He's going to be eaten.



He's going to be our supper

on the supper table.



What's the matter?



What are you guys crying about?



How do you slaughter them?



Hung them upside-down

and stripped their fur off...



and gutted them.



Quit biting.



And chop their heads off.



Quit it.



What happened to your brother

who worked at the factory?



He got laid off.



Now you know what I'm talking about.



He's dripping.



My girlfriend out in Fenton, we tan them...



and we try to make coats,

gloves and animals out of the furs.



- What kind of coat does rabbit fur make?

- A rabbit coat.



- What else do you think it makes?

- Is it a nice coat? Warm?



I don't know. We ain't made one yet.

We got to get enough furs.



- How many do you need?

- A lot.



You need lots and lots of furs.



Right now, we've only got     furs...



with all the rabbits I've done so far...



before I got in trouble.



That's why I'm not actually

supposed to be doing this.



I was brought up to learn to survive.



If you were out in the wilderness...



I'm getting ready to gut him.



You think it's hard

to survive in Flint these days?






The shops are all going down,

and people just ain't...



got the money like they used to anymore...



and you can't be buying things.



That's why I said

my rabbit meat usually went...



The people of Flint

had been through the wringer.



Then came the lowest blow.



Money magazine declared Flint

the worst place to live in all the country.



The chamber of commerce and local

beer distributors decided to take a stand.



They would burn Money magazine.



I came to burn Money magazine,

because Flint's my adopted city.



I've lived in plenty of cities,

and this is one of the best.



There's plenty of things to do.

The economy isn't that bad off.



We're all hard workers and survivors,

and I support Flint.



This is to tell people

that Flint is our hometown.



There's no way on God's green earth

it's the worst place to live in the country.



A lot of people say

there's nothing to do in Flint. ''Ha! '' I say.



I mean, how many cities

have their own PGA Tour event?



Not that many. We have one right here.



How many cities have an air show

the size we have?



How many people have parks,

rivers and trees...



and huge colleges like this over here?

Not that many.



We've got a lot going for us,

and don't ever forget it.



One good way to start out

would be with a song...



about another industrial city

that has seen hard times.



The Boss, Bruce Springsteen,

singing a song about his hometown.



Burn, Money, burn!



That smells like Gary, Indiana.



Don't let anybody tell you

you live in the country's worst place.



They're wrong!



Good evening.

I'm Ted Koppel, and this is Nightline.



Flint was now in the national spotlight.

The biggest event was to come...



when Ted Koppel announced

he'd interview city officials live...



in front of city hall, on Nightline.



The trouble started...



Here's what we know so far.



The ABC news program Nightline

was to be broadcasted live...



from in front of city hall tonight.



The reason? The closing

of the historic Fisher One Plant.



Apparently, moments before

the broadcast...



someone got in the satellite truck

and drove it off, cables and all.



Nightline has had to cancel their segment

from the city of Flint...



and police are looking for a suspect.



Reporting live from city hall in Flint,

I'm Barb Schroeder, TV    News.



They caught the unemployed worker

who made off with the Nightline van.



But crime in Flint continued to grow.



One guy thought he was Superman's

cousin and decided to save the town.



He didn't get very far.



He just wanted us to call him Captain Dah.



He said, ''You can call me Dah-Dah,''

whatever that meant.



The old jail couldn't hold...



the increasing number of inmates

the judges were locking up.



So the county built

a new, state-of-the-art jail...



that was five stories high

and filled a city block.



The night before the jail was to open,

the city threw a party...



where couples paid $   

to stay overnight in jail.



When you first come in

from the limo ride...



from the pub-crawling before you get here,

they book you...



they give you a free Breathalyzer test,

and a mug shot...



complete with your fingerprinting.



Why do you want to spend the night

in Flint jail?



- Just for the experience.

- Yes, I've never been in jail before.






Let's fight.



And we're having a fantastic time here.



It was time to confront Roger face to face.



Posing as a GM stockholder, I got into

the annual GM shareholders' meeting.



I sat patiently as stockholders

aired their grievances to the board.



Finally, it was my turn at the mike.



Microphone number    is somebody

who hasn't had the opportunity to speak.



Mr. Chairman, I have Mr. Michael Moore...



a stockholder from Flint, Michigan.



Mr. Gilbert, I wonder

if you'd like to make a motion to adjourn?



I think we've answered all questions.



I think everyone

has had a turn at the mike.



I have one question.



All right. Moved and adjourned.



Thank you very much.

You've been a great audience.



I thought you said Louie was here.



- He's right there.

- He was sleeping.



He got up slow,

and didn't know what the hell to do.



I think he was surprised,

for whatever reason.



Me, too.



I'm going to leave this stuff here, okay?

They'll pick that up and bring it?



It was two weeks before Christmas.

General Motors was closing the factory...



where the great Flint Sit-down Strike

had taken place.



The UAW had promised...



that a massive demonstration would

be held on the last day of the factory.



Only four workers showed up

to protest the plant closing.



This is my second one I've closed.



It must be my destiny

to close all General Motors plants.



It's never pleasant when something

like this comes to an end...



but life goes on.



What are you going to do?



Excuse me a minute.

Where are you guys from?



We're making a documentary

about Flint, Michigan.



- From where?

- We're independent.



- We'd like you off the lot.

- Why?



Because this is private property.

We'd like you not to be here...



We thought it was a significant day

here today. The factory's closing...



It is a very significant day.



It's a very sad time,

a very private, personal time.



What do you think about General Motors

closing up this factory?



This is a very private, emotional,

family time.



- We would not let outsiders in the plant.

- We're not outsiders. We're from Flint.



You are outsiders. You don't work here.



This community

depends on General Motors...



Jerry, this guy, out.



I don't understand why we can't

talk to them for a couple minutes.



This is the factory's last hour.

What's the problem?



The problem is,

we were told to keep you on the sidewalk.



- You're hired by GM to do that?

- That's correct. On the sidewalk, please.



Mrs. McGee. There she is. Let me ask her.



Why can't we talk to you

if you're the spokesperson?



You can. I'll come outside and talk,

but not inside.



I've asked you to leave.



- We'll go, if you come and talk.

- I don't think I'll talk to you.



You're the spokesperson,

and you won't speak to us.



That's correct.

You don't represent anybody.



You're a private interest,

and I won't speak to you.



We happen to be citizens

of this community.



That's not a private interest.



We're all citizens of the community.



On the sidewalk, please.



The      hourly workers at this operation

were sent home with flowers today.



Even union leaders

offered them bleak advice.



One worker told me, "You know when

they send you flowers? When you die. "



So, not a very merry Christmas.



In fact, as one man

walked out of the plant...



he told me, ''I want to wish Roger Smith

a merry Christmas.''



It was now Christmas Eve in Flint.



After three years of trying to bring

Roger here, I was ready to give up.



Deputy Fred had three evictions

scheduled for this day.



At the same time, in Detroit...



Roger Smith was beaming

his Christmas message...



to every GM factory throughout the world.



Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.



I'd like to welcome you to our traditional

General Motors Christmas program.



We're trying to clear up

all evictions today...



so it won't get into the latter part

of Christmas, which is tomorrow.



We don't want to do any tomorrow.



- Because it's Christmas?

- Right.



Ladies and gentlemen,

it's my pleasure to introduce...



the chairman of General Motors

with his annual Christmas message...



Mr. Roger B. Smith.



You know, the thing that strikes me

about Christmas...



is that it's such a total experience.



For a few weeks out of our year...



our whole environment is transformed.



There are the lights, of course...



that lift us out of winter's cold and gloom.



This bitch got his money

and sent my motherfucking shit out.



They remind us

of the warmth of human companionship...



and of the spring that's never far behind.



Try to lay it down.

The wind will blow it over if you don't.



We listen for jingle bells in the country.



We smell the pine needles on the trees...



and the turkey on the table.



We even dream of a white Christmas...



in the hope that nature will accommodate

our longing for a total experience.



Where are the motherfucking keys?



- That motherfucker got his money.

- They're setting us out on the street!



I paid this man his rent. Give me my shit.



... the individual dignity

and worth of each human being...



the more fully human

each of us will become.



He's got his money!

I showed you the paper!



All I owe that man is $   .



Now let me close with an observation...



that I consider

by a real leading authority on Christmas:



Charles Dickens. Here's what he said:



''I have always thought of Christmas...



''as a good time... ''



Get your goddamn coats on!



"...a kind, forgiving,

charitable, pleasant time..."



Set my shit out, and I done paid the bitch!



I only owed the bitch $    and

I was going to give it to her stinking ass.



"...the only time I know of,

in the long calendar of the year...



"when men and women

seem by one consent...



"to open their hearts freely.



"And therefore...



"though it has never

put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket...



"I believe that it has done me good...



''and will do me good.



''And I say, God bless it! ''



Mr. Dickens, I couldn't agree more.



So I say, ''God bless Christmas,

and God bless all of you.''



Thank you for coming.



Thank you, Mr. Smith.



Mr. Smith, we came from Flint...



where we filmed

a family being evicted from their home...



the day before Christmas Eve.

A family that worked in your factory.



Would you be willing to come with us

to see the situation in Flint?



I've been to Flint, and I'm sorry for them,

but I don't know anything about it.



Families being evicted on Christmas Eve...



General Motors didn't evict them.



- Talk to the landlord...

- They used to work for GM.



- Now they don't work there anymore.

- I'm sorry, but...



- Could you come to Flint?

- No, I cannot. I'm sorry.



What's Christmas going to be like

for you this year?



I get a couple of days off.

That's the good part.



I get a chance to rest.

But come Tuesday morning, I'll be back.



I failed to bring Roger to Flint.



As we neared the end

of the   th century...



the rich were richer, the poor poorer...



and people everywhere had a lot less lint...



thanks to the lint rollers

made in my hometown.



It was truly the dawn of a new era.



If you're espousing a philosophy,

which apparently you are...



that the corporation owes employees...



cradle-to-the-grave security,

I don't think that can be accomplished...



under a free enterprise system.



Many of us are proud to be here...



and it will continue to be a good place

to live and raise a family...



and have a good place to work.



- Where are you going?

- I am going to Tel Aviv.






Maybe someday

I'll be the Ministress of Tourism.



I mowed the lawn with my shirt off,

made my back stiff.



My wife asked me to mow the lawn

with my pants off next time.



I'm planning on going back to school

in January...



for veterinary assistance,

and also for dog grooming...



'cause there's a lot of animals

that need taking care of.



It's great to have you guys here.



It's been fun having you around.

You see all the craziness that goes on.



If you decide to go for it, you'll make it.




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