Comedic documentary filmmaker Michael Moore takes his film crew throughout the U.S. for The Big One, a behind-the-scenes video diary of the promotional tour for his book Downsize This! He appears at several chain bookstores throughout the nation, signing autographs and delivering wicked political commentary to audiences. Along the way, he stops at various small-town parking lots and malls, gathering brief interviews with assorted Americans. Some of his interview subjects include an ex-convict who was hired as cheap labor for TWA airlines while in prison and a group of Borders employees who organize a union. Brief celebrity appearances include Garrison Keillor, Studs Terkel, and Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen. In his typical ambushing fashion, Moore makes several cleverly unexpected visits to people in powerful positions. One attempt finds Moore bringing laid-off working mothers to visit a local government official with the intent of cleaning his office to show that they want a job. In Centralia, IL, Moore visits the Leaf candy company, who plans to move their factories to Mexico, resulting in massive layoffs. The camera crew heads into their administrative offices and attempts to meet with the CEO in witty trademark fashion. Other corporate targets include Johnson Controls, Pillsbury, and, finally, Nike, where CEO Phil Knight grants Moore some dialogue.
by Andrea LeVasseur synopsis