Remember When Michael Moore Tried to Get Nike to Come to Flint? [VIDEO]
Michael Moore once campaigned pretty heavily to get Nike to set up shop here in Flint, and of course, he documented the whole thing.
Filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore made a name for himself by exposing corporate greed and its effects on the city with his acclaimed documentary 'Roger & Me.' In his second full-length documentary, 1997's 'The Big One,' Moore crosses the country on a book tour, examining America's economic uncertainty.
At the time, I was a teenager worrying about teenage things -- none of which were the economic well-being of Flint, Michigan. So, obviously, I missed this story the first time around and seeing it shared in a Flint Facebook group earlier really piqued my interest. I figured if I missed this really interesting story about my city, a lot of other people my age probably did too.
Watching this clip from the documentary, it's kind of amazing how much has changed since then -- Bill Harris' hair, local news in general, fashion trends, etc. Even more fascinating are the things that haven't, like the appearance of city hall, the continued Venn diagram intersection of people who make signs and people who make grammatical errors, and, most notably, the economic desperation of our residents.
In the clip, Moore conducted, what could be construed as a mean-spirited and cynical experiment to use the people of Flint to convince Nike to build a factory here. The only reason I think it's kind of mean-spirited is that he did this, and generated public excitement around it, knowing full well what the outcome would be.
Either way, it's a really effective look at the thinking of corporate America and sheds light on why more international businesses like Nike haven't stepped in to help Flint bounce back -- because it's not cost-effective for them. I found it entertaining and thought others would too, so here it is.
'The Big One' is available for rent or purchase on all major digital platforms.