Manufacturing Dissent (2007)
In an era where fact, fiction, and legend have become increasingly difficult to distinguish, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine set out to explore the politically charged climate in America and find out just how documentary director Michael Moore has evolved from a simple filmmaker into an icon of left-leaning politics.
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Critic Reviews for Manufacturing Dissent
A solid, well-done and seemingly balanced look at Moore's work, his celebrity, his methods and the ethical problems in his reporting.
There's little to disagree with in the thumbnail portrait of Moore that emerges from this entertaining doc.
With a wide-ranging array of interviewees and an amusingly Moore-like approach to its subject, Manufacturing Dissent is an enjoyable documentary, whether you're pro-Moore, anti-Moore or indifferent.
Exposes a paranoid personality, testy with his critics and bullish about his methodology.
Moore's reputation as a brilliant polemicist takes a knock or two, here. But it's still very much upright.
A few serious points against Moore's credibility are overshadowed by a lot of dull posturing, unconvincing argument and unpleasant interviews. It's nothing like as good as the films made by the man it maligns.
The problem in making a documentary about Moore, though, is that it probably won't be as interesting as a documentary made by him, even if his techniques are used.
Some of the accusations in this documentary by a pair of Canadian filmmakers who initially set out to make a positive portrait, will make your eyes water.
The big question you have to ask yourself is: do these dishonest work practices actually undermine the message he's trying get across? The answer is probably not... because Moore is already preaching to the converted.
Too bad co-writers/co-directors Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine don't investigate -- and ingratiate -- the way their target does in his own films.
Manufacturing Dissent comes across less as an expose of a polarizing public figure than as the realization of a personal and not especially interesting grudge against a once-admired colleague who has moved on to bigger things.
This hugely entertaining documentary turns Michael Moore's filmmaking style back on himself to separate the facts from the rumours. It's not a hatchet job, but Moore doesn't emerge unscathed.
Though much of what's in the film isn't new information, seeing it all compiled in one place and building to its damning argument against Moore is effective and disturbing.
While Manufacturing Dissent provides little that is new, it does place the controversy in the larger context of the contradictory relationship between the pursuit of fame and journalistic integrity.
Manufacturing Dissent seems disingenuous at times and just plain stupid at others.
Caine and Melnyk's film is intent in questioning such legitimacies, which it does well; it's just as propagandistic as a Michael Moore film, but not as entertaining.
Audience Reviews for Manufacturing Dissent
Manufacturing Dissent is an interesting documentary that looks at controversial filmmaker Michael Moore. Canadian documentarian Debbie Melnyk follows Moore's 2004 Slacker Uprising tour while discussing his divisive career, and interviewing his former friends and associates. The film makes an interesting point of how Moore has a pattern of burning his bridges, and alienating or betraying his supporters. To that end, Melnyk begins sympathetic toward Moore but ends up becoming a victim of his tactics of deception and manipulation. Unfortunately, the picture quality is rather low end and there are several times that the narrative appears to lack direction. Yet despite its flaws, Manufacturing Dissent provides an intriguing perspective on Michael Moore's journey.More
After seeing the terrible Farenhype 911 doc that was clearly anit-Moore, but did have a few interesting things to say I had no intention of ever watching this one. However, sitting on a plane and not wanting to watch a fictional movie where I'm just not going to get to pay as much attention to as I'd like to, I chose this one. And much to my surprise, even though the video system went down, I went out and rented it the next day to finish it because I found it pretty interesting. Not the best doc ever made, more like the TV special I think it was intended as, this is a great look into Moore's manipulation of facts and media to make himself into what he is today. Politics aside, it's an interesting look at a self made celebrity and the lengths he will go to retain that. Also, it's truly scary watching his brainwashed followers AKA young democrats. Eg:
Moore: Look at those Republicans over there!
Moore: No, let's not boo them. Unlike them we like to hear other opinions!
Yikes! I definitely lean more to the left (maybe it's my shoes), but a lot of Moore's speeches remind me of Bob Roberts. I remember feeling tricked when I found out about the untruths in his documentaries, I always considered myself not to follow people blindly, but I seriously feel kinda stupid for buying some of the crap he was dishing out. Did I really think a bank would just hand someone a gun? What the hell is wrong with me? Anyway, because of Moore I now question all documentaries more than I should and take everything said in any "editorial" documentary with a grain of salt, because not only is the view possibly one-sided, but now it could just be a downright lie.
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