December 20, 1989 – Roger & Me debuts

In the midst of record profits a series of decisions approved by General Motors CEO Roger Smith led to the closing of several auto plants in Flint, Michigan in favor of cheaper labor in Mexico. The shuttering of plants, starting in 1986, was documented by Michael Moore in his film Roger & Me, which debuted on this day in 1989. The closing of the plants reduced the number of GM autoworkers in Flint from 80,000 in 1978 to 50,000 in 1992. As of August 2015 conservative estimates put the number of GM employees in the Flint area at just 7,200. The documentary follows the uprising of crime and the downfall of jobs, all while Moore tries to score an interview with Roger Smith. The film was selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress in 2013 due to it being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Pic: Michael Moore at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in September 2009 By nicolas genin – originally posted to Flickr as 66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra), CC BY-SA 2.0,