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Still taking the Michael

Michael Moore is one person who will never mince his words. And this is especially true when it comes to the subject of whatever happens to be his latest film.

"Capitalism is the legalised endorsement of greed. It's survival of the fittest, and whoever makes the most money is king of the hill and everybody else, be damned," he declares.

Through his documentary films, including the Oscar- winning Bowling For Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko, the straight-talking American filmmaker has courted controversy and become a talking point.

He has already criticised globalisation, gun ownership, George W Bush, the US health system and the Iraq war. And now he is attacking the wealthy bankers of Wall Street and the US government in Capitalism: A Love Story.

It's clear Moore isn't a fan of capitalism -- the economic system driven by the pursuit of private profit -- and readily admits he would like to see it eliminated.

"Capitalism is a beast --it will never stop, it has an insatiable desire to make money," he shouts, leaning forward in his chair. "There's no such thing as 'enough' with capitalism -- it's the dirtiest word. It will continue to find ways to take our money. It doesn't have a soul, it doesn't account for any form of safety net."

Unlike the rest of the Hollywood glitterati, you won't find Moore dressed to the nines. Instead, he's looking casual in a red T-shirt and black trousers with a red Rutgers baseball cap in a show of solidarity with university graduate Ann Sparanese, who began the campaign to save his book Stupid White Men, which criticised President Bush.

He adds: "People ask me about the love story in this film. The love story is that it's a story about wealthy people who love their money except this film has a twist -- they don't just love their money, they love all the money. They want our money and they'll find any way they can to get it."

In the film, the 55-year-old, who made his first film, Roger & Me, 20 years ago, examines the depths of the worldwide economic crisis and the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the Americans. He speaks to people whose lives are in jeopardy after losing their jobs, homes and savings.

"I get a lot of emails and letters from people around the country telling of their utter despair every day," he says.

Painful

"It's painful to read and I try to think of what I can do with the privileged position that I have as a filmmaker to give voice to what they're living through, because they don't get to have their voice in the cinema or in the news."

Moore -- who began directing music videos for Rage Against The Machine and REM before moving into films -- has wanted to make a film on capitalism since his film- making career kicked off, but always got sidetracked.

"I've been thinking about this for the entire time I've been making films because it seems like no matter what issue I decide to make a film about, it comes back to the core issue that there is something seriously wrong and unfair about the economic situation in our country," he explains, adjusting his glasses.

He was finally inspired to fulfil his longing six months before the collapse of financiers Lehman Brothers in September 2008 (the largest bankruptcy in US history), after writing a story about dead peasants.

"That story probably brought together everything that I really wanted to say about how sick and twisted our economic system is. And so I felt, instead of dancing around this any more, I should go for it and tell how I really feel."

And tell it he does. Not only does he name names about who he reckons is responsible for the recession, he also calls for change.

Likening the system to a pie, of which the rich take the majority of it and the rest fight over the leftovers, he says: "I believe in democracy, that we are to treat each other in as fair and equitable a manner as possible. The richest 1pc in America have more financial wealth than the bottom 95pc combined. That's not democracy, that's not moral, it's not right."

Capitalism: A Love Story will be released on Friday


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