“Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event,” said Michael Moore at a 2009 press conference. “If we don’t participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy.” Moore has been an active participant since his childhood in Flint, Michigan, where he was raised in a union family—his uncle was actually a UAW founder and a participant in the great General Motors sit-down strike of 1936. In 1989, Moore’s participation took the form of a film called Roger & Me (NYFF 1989), a spirited, funny, white-hot attack on GM, which had by then moved most of their jobs out of the country and devastated the once-thriving region, a scenario that was repeated many times throughout the country. In the years since, Moore has been launching brilliantly planned comic attacks on the NRA and the gun industry (Bowling for Columbine), the American response to 9/11 (Fahrenheit 9/11), the health-care industry (Sicko), capitalism itself (Capitalism: A Love Story), and, with his new film Where To Invade Next, the divide between America’s lofty self-image and the less impressive reality. We’re happy to have him back at the NYFF for this discussion about his movies.

Catch Moore’s new film, Where to Invade Next, in this year’s Main Slate.