Michael Moore: “The Angriest Man in America” turns 70

Michael Moore: “The Angriest Man in America” turns 70
Michael Moore

In 2016, the star director, who turns 70 on Tuesday (April 23), was one of the few people who publicly predicted Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. In November, Trump, whom Moore once described as “our Frankenstein,” wants to be elected president again – and the filmmaker is of course back on the barricades.

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Moore is polarizing. For some, the director and Oscar winner is a hero who radically and mercilessly educates the world about America’s problems and shortcomings – and is now once again leading the fight against Trump. The British Guardian once described him as “one of the great communicators of the Western left.” For others, the heavyweight, who usually appears in a baggy look with glasses and a baseball cap, is a left-wing populist who doesn’t always take the truth seriously. “I don’t try to appeal to a broad audience because then you always water everything down,” says Moore. “You just have to please yourself and believe that other people out there feel the same way.”

“Fahrenheit 11/9”

The “angriest man in America” is actually not primarily fighting against Trump, but rather for stricter gun laws and a better social, school and health system in the USA. All issues on which he and Trump hold fundamentally opposing positions. Moore is a radical, a driven and a restless person who gets on the nerves of many people, but can also draw attention to his issues like few others in the industry. Critics repeatedly accuse him of distorting facts and, above all, portraying himself in his films.

Most recently, Moore released the film “Fahrenheit 11/9” in 2018 about the state of democracy in the USA under Trump. Since then he has mainly expressed himself through interviews, newsletters and podcasts.

Born in Michigan

The director was born in 1954 in the city of Flint in the US state of Michigan, which is dominated by the car giant General Motors. His parents worked for the car manufacturer. Almost 40 years later, Moore would make his first documentary film about the decline of his hometown after the departure of General Motors: “Roger & Me.” To this day, Moore lives in his native Michigan and is strongly attached to the region, which is largely structurally weak. He renovated a movie theater in Traverse City and hosted a film festival there for many years.

Moore, who separated from his wife Kathleen Glynn in 2013 after more than 20 years of marriage, achieved his global breakthrough with “Bowling for Columbine”, a documentary about the school shooting in the US state of Colorado in which two 17-year-olds and 18-year-old students shot twelve classmates, a teacher and then themselves. The debate about gun violence and stricter laws in the USA was still in its early stages at the time; many people around the world only learned more about the topic from Moore.

Oscar winner

Moore won an Oscar for the film and caused a scandal at the awards ceremony when he sharply attacked then US President George W. Bush over the Iraq War. “Shame on you, Mr. Bush,” Moore shouted – and was quickly drowned out by the gala orchestra. Moore also criticized the war on terror and Bush’s presidency in his next successful film. “Fahrenheit 9/11” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In other films, Moore later attacked the US healthcare system (“Sicko”) and capitalism (“Capitalism: A Love Story”). His books, such as “Stupid White Men”, also became bestsellers, especially in Europe.

When it comes to the November election, Moore is as usual pessimistic, as he recently emphasized in his podcast “Rumble.” “We don’t want to say it out loud, but I will, and the reason we have to be concerned is that Trump is smarter than us.”

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