The Big One

Director: Michael Moore
Screenwriters: Michael Moore

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


In the eight years since his resounding success with Roger & Me, Michael Moore has created a network television show, a feature film, and a best-selling book. Though he may have risen to celebrity status, he remains feverishly loyal to his cause—promoting social awareness of the devalued status of working-class Americans and exposing the overt shortsightedness of corporate greed.

Sent by his publisher on a nationwide book tour, Moore takes the opportunity to make a film, without necessarily informing his publisher. Shooting with a tiny crew, including American Job’s Chris Smith, he encourages his cameraman to keep rolling under all circumstances. Along his forty-seven city stops, we watch him in action through radio interviews, lectures to students, and his trademark drop in and see who will talk. Whether at a secret meeting with Borders’ employees who are trying to unionize or visiting a recently closed candy-bar factory where the newly unemployed are picketing, Moore is talking to people, asking them questions, and coming to the same conclusion: This country is still experiencing fierce corporate downsizing. American companies are cutting back by closing stateside factories in favor of cheaper labor overseas, resulting in even larger profits at the expense of our workers. Trying to secure a meeting with any CEO of a major corporation, he finally strikes pay dirt with Phil Knight, CEO of Nike.

Moore maintains a unique ability to explain the plight of the American worker in simple, even humorous language. He may not live in Flint any longer, but he hasn’t forgotten what happened there.

Michael Moore, Director
Michael Moore was born in Flint, Michigan, where most of his relatives worked for General Motors. He founded and edited the Flint Voice, one of the nation’s most respected alternative newspapers. In 1989 Moore made Roger & Me, the highest-grossing documentary film of all time. The epilogue to Roger & Me, Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint, appeared in 1992. In 1995 he wrote and directed his first feature, Canadian Bacon, and in 1996 published his first book, Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details


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