In the midst of an impassioned conversation about the fight over labor rights in Michigan, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm pressed fellow Michigander Michael Moore to revisit his hometown of Flint and make a sequel to “Roger & Me,” his debut documentary film about the consequences of General Motors’ job cuts.
“I totally feel what you’re feeling,” Granholm said. “It’s very deep. It’s a very deep thing. Just thinking about Flint, its population is about half of what it was in its heyday. And General Motors went from employing 80,000 residents to just under 8,000. And when you did ‘Roger & Me,’ which was really a love story about Flint, you told this story although it was in 1989 and Flint still had some auto manufacturing then –”
“50,000 jobs,” Moore said. “50,000 in 1989.”
“And now it’s under 8,000,” Granholm said. “You were the canary in the coal mine. You’re like a seer of what was going to happen. Does this portend –”
“So what?” Moore jeered. “Yeah, oh boy, right. So I was a voice and I made a great movie and it had the largest box office ever in the history of documentary film, and Flint went right down the drain. So, while I’m very proud of that movie, I tried to tell people in Michigan 25 years ago that this was going to happen. It was like banging my head against the wall.”
Despite ruminating on officials who refused to listen to him for so many years, Moore credited Granholm for trying to “put your finger in a number of the dykes that were springing all this water, but it was a flood.”
“You had the unfortunate job of being the governor of Michigan while George W. Bush was president,” he said.
Granholm added that she’d heard Moore is “done making movies,” and she rejected the thought outright. “You were banging your head against the wall with ‘Roger & Me.’ If you would leave the communication channels to only Fox News and those, there will be no voice for the other side. So, I want you to do a sequel to ‘Roger & Me.’”
Moore looked taken aback, laughing uncomfortably. “Yeah,” he said. “You know, I’m really only one person, and the key word there is person. I’m a human being and, you can just really — listen, I’m not giving up. Believe me, I have plans. I will make more movies. I’m writing another book. I’m not going anywhere.”
These videos are from Current TV’s “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm,” aired Wednesday, December 12, 2012.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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