9 Hellraising Documentaries That Paved Michael Moore's Road to Broadway
Prepare for The Terms of My Surrender with our Michael Moore crash course.
Michael Moore makes his official Broadway debut tonight as he opens his solo show The Terms of My Surrender at the Belasco Theatre. The famously controversial documentary filmmaker has been causing political stirs since the 1980s, taking on every contentious topic from financial corruption to gun control. Now, he hits the stage asking the pinnacle of provocative questions: "Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?"
If you're not already familiar with Moore's political (and theatrical) style, we're giving you a full, chronological crash course in all things Moore before meeting him face-to-face onstage. Consider this a step-by-step road map of the route to the documentary filmmaker's incendiary Broadway debut.
Roger & Me (1989)
In his film debut, Roger & Me follows Moore as he pursues General Motors CEO Roger Smith. Smith had recently closed several auto plants in Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan — wreaking havoc on the city's economy.
The Big One (1998)
The Big One documents Moore's promotional tour of his book Downsize This!, which looks at the selfish practices of U.S. corporations and their disproportionate governmental power. In the film, Moore manages to track down Nike C.E.O. Phil Knight, who explains his company's questionable labor practices.
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Moore earned an Academy Award for Documentary Feature for Bowling for Columbine, in which he traces the roots of American gun violence. The film's subject matter was inspired by the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Fahrenheit 9/11 was released on the heels of the September 11 attacks and America's subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In it, he takes the Bush administration to task for its manipulative tactics.
The unjustly profitable American healthcare system is the subject of Sicko, which earned an Oscar nomination for Documentary Feature. The film is currently the 10th-highest-grossing documentary of all time.
Slacker Uprising (2007)
Slacker Uprising began its life as Captain Mike Across America, which was filmed before the 2004 presidential election. It looks at the politics of college students as Moore makes his way through a 60-city college campus tour.
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Capitalism: A Love Story comments on the financial crisis of the late 2000s, examining how corporate interests are prioritized over public good.
Where to Invade Next (2015)
Where to Invade Next is Moore's political travelogue, in which he seeks to learn from the economic and social policies of various countries, including Italy, France, Finland, Tunisia, Slovenia, and Portugal.
Michael Moore in TrumpLand (2016)
The immediate precursor to The Terms of My Surrender, Michael Moore in TrumpLand is a pro-Hillary Clinton stand-up show that Moore performed in Wilmington, Ohio, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 general election.