Manufacturing Dissent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Manufacturing Dissent Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 1, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2007
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!
Crowd: BoooooO!
Moore: No, let's not boo them. Unlike them we like to hear other opinions!
Crowd: Yaaaaay.

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.
March 24, 2012
This movie about the complications and manipulations of Michael Moore is a useful companion piece to Roger and Me and Fahrenheit 9/11. Even if you don't agree with its politics, the film will at least get you thinking
June 2, 2009
First, I have to make an announcement. As of this week, the library's hold policy has changed. They're only allowing people to have twenty-five items on hold at a time. Now, I checked eleven items out yesterday, and only maybe two of them are movies; most are PBS or History Channel items or other things that are an hour or shorter. What's more, there's only three or four on the list where I'm in the front of the line. For the most part, there's five or more people in front of me. Sometimes twenty or more. I have thirty items on hold right now; they haven't removed any from the list, but I can't add any more until I get down to under twenty-five again. In practical terms, what this means is that my movie project is about to slow way, way down. Now, I have my Netflix still, but I'm on three at a time, so there's a limit to how many we'll get there. I've got a fair number of movies that I own that we haven't done. However, I may have to write a few not-review essays here and there to fill out space. Yeah, all right, I could just stop doing this every day, but it's generally agreed that it's important to me to have some sort of structure to my day, and this is it. So that's what's going on, for future reference.

Michael Moore is a polarizing man. People on either end of the political spectrum feel very passionately on the subject. And Canadian filmmakers Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk decided to see what validity each viewpoint had. As tends to be the case, they weren't able to actually interview Michael Moore. From what I can tell, he's generally eager to avoid that if he can. Unlike some, they didn't dig much until the actual facts behind things. They leave that to others. Instead, they look into Moore the man and Moore the editor. They follow him around on tour. (Where their credentials are questioned and their cameras damaged.) They also have footage where Moore freely admits to editing film to prove his point; he seems surprised that anyone would have a problem with that. The filmmakers seem, based on what they say early in the piece, to agree with a lot of his political stances, though they do try to stay objective. They are also pretty good about getting both pro- and anti-Moore voices, which is pretty unusual for any documentary about politics of any slant. And I have to say, although I was already less than thrilled with Moore in the first place, I really don't like the guy as he's shown here.

I think in many ways that Michael Moore is the Ann Coulter of the left. A [i]lot[/i] of liberals don't like him. I'm one of them. I don't think he helps win people over to his perspective, [i]even when he's right[/i]. He comes across as smug, self-righteous, and unpleasant. Oh, and hypocritical. At the beginning of this story, he tells the filmmakers that he loves the Canadians and wishes to help their film as much as possible. He then spends the entire film avoiding them. He even prescreens people entering his press conference, a technique he criticizes in others. They pretty much rolled 212 on him there and throughout the film. They show him complaining about Bush's fearmongering, then they show him saying that, if Bush is reelected, he'll reinstitute the draft. They show him stumping for Nader, then they show him comparing voting for Nader to masturbation. In fact, my favourite moment is a clip from [i]TV Nation[/i] featuring women dressed up as Puritans, imitating the girls from the Salem Witch Trials outside Ken Starr's house. Not office, mind--house. (One of them might be my former coworker Erica, who was on the show for a while.) He asks a woman whom I assume to be Mrs. Starr if she knows what a witch hunt is, and she says dryly that she's quite aware.

Now, again, this film isn't really looking at whether they agree with Moore or not. Just his techniques. They do talk a little bit about his accuracy of fact, though not much. And don't get me wrong--I don't think anyone's life comes up as completely free of hypocrisy when scrutinized. I'm sure mine does, though I'd really like it if my friends would refrain from pointing out examples! There are also a lot of people who know Moore personally who are clearly quite fond of him. However, there are also people who feel kind of cast aside by him. (And, in the deleted scenes, you can see a very annoyed Ray Bradbury.) It almost seems that he polarizes the people he knows, too. It also seems that he's been doing it on purpose for a very long time.

I think Michael Moore believes he's helping; I don't believe that to be hypocrisy. I think he thinks that making a giant fuss and being a gadfly in the American scene helps get his message across and helps convert people to his side. He really thinks he's convincing a lot of people, and he really thinks he's doing good work. I have never disputed that. However, I don't think extreme viewpoints being shouted really convinces much of anyone. Again, even if they're right. I also think it helps to practice what you preach at least as much as you can. We all laughed when we found out about Rush Limbaugh's drug habit (and, I've heard speculation, dealing), because he has so consistently been such a big voice against drugs and drug users. We laugh when we hear about vocally anti-gay politicians being caught propositioning people in bathrooms or paying hookers with meth or whatever. And when we catch Michael Moore censoring people, that's funny, too. He wants to be funny, but I don't think he wants to be a laughingstock.
November 11, 2008
I really like this documentary. It's a fair and balanced critique of michael moore, without resorting to Michael Moore's tactics. a great portrait of a troubled time in american politics where fighting the good fight meant less than crusifying the other side.
½ July 3, 2008
'Dissent' exposes Michael Moore's credibility issues as a documentary filmmaker. I believe that Moore is probably as bad as they say he is. Unfortunately this movie isn't as polished or as interesting as Moore's films.
½ January 17, 2008
Pretty poor expose on Moore. The filmmakers are not sure if they are FOR or AGAINST Moore. They never really paint a full picture as it's only Moore turning down their requests for an interview, but not really anything else that we haven't seen.
January 11, 2008
All in all, the movie seems to want to portray Michael Moore as a meglomaniac or in some sort of a bad light. The problem is that we already know that he's not perfect. I've seen Michael Moore's movies and he's horribly dressed, not the most attractive person, and isn't even all that charismatic. I like Moore's movies because they're entertaining. This movie appears to be a documentary about Michael Moore. The problem is that Michael Moore is essentially a very boring person to have a documentary about. I found the narrative to well written and fair and unbiased like how documentaries are supposed to be, but, I found the content sleepworthy at best.
January 10, 2008
A tremendously important film for anyone who's ever seen a Michael Moore "documentary." His film's have more edits than "The Bourne Ultimatum," and now you can find out why.
½ February 25, 2016
The filmmakers are honest about their respect for Michael Moore, and they seem to genuinely admire and appreciate Moore's contribution to the field of documentary filmmaking, but when they attempt to turn their cameras on Moore they are met with a kind of stonewalling worthy of the 1980s General Motors PR department. A number of people burned by Moore in the past provide critical voices of the filmmaker and many of his filmmaking techniques are put under the microscope in this wonderful documentary that should be watched by everyone who's ever seen and loved Roger & Me. The issue of why Moore didn't include footage of his interview with Roger Smith in his film provides astounding insight into his methods and a really deep look at what has become one of the most influential and greatest movies of all time. Also of interest is material on his upbringing in Davison, not Flint, Michigan, and information about some of the scenes and people in the film Roger & Me.
February 6, 2013
A documentary, though more of an expose, on Michael Moore's underhanded techniques in film making. The makers of this doco set out with the intention to interview Moore during the release of Fahrenheit 911. What eventuates however is a portrait of Moore as an asshole who fabricates events in his documentaries and denies interviews to these filmmakers who are only trying to mimic what he has done himself in previous films such as Roger and Me.

It doesn't take long to begin to dislike Moore through his representation in this film. Regardless of opinion on his actual films he does not come across as a likable person and with plenty of testimonies to back this up you are left doubting his character and in turn his documentaries.

This is of course a one sided film, Moore apparently did not want to do a sit down interview, and the snippets of footage they have in conversation with him illustrate him in a defensive and arrogant way. As they raise the point of not taking Moore's films at face value, so too we should not with this doco. It is interesting, well put together and with a great range of interview subjects the film successfully paints Moore in a negative light and makes the viewer question the power of propaganda in American media today. A good film to get the brain thinking.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2012
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.
June 6, 2012
Un film à la Michael Moore... Sur Michael Moore.

Pas besoin de chercher très loin pour comprendre que ce documentaire soi-disant objectif n'est rien d'autre qu'une cible directement pointée sur la tête de Moore lui-même. Si les réalisateurs se disent éclairés et lucides, ils ne tardent pas à se contredire en bombardant le spectateur d'insultes anti-Moore et de témoignages qui ne tiennent pas la route. Entre autre, la première heure se laisse constituer de ''Michael Moore est un menteur!'', témoignages récoltés dans la rue par des détracteurs qui ne le connaissent pas. Toutefois, la dernière demie-heure, bien que dans la même veine, soulève tout de même des points intéressants et, enfin, fournit quelques preuves à l'appui pour appuyer son propos.

Je respecte grandement le travail de Moore, même si je ne respecte pas toujours les manières qu'il utilise pour y parvenir, mais il est intéressant de voir à quel point la globalité de son oeuvre provoque des conservateurs qui n'hésitent pas à entrer dans le même jeu que lui pour tenter de le discréditer.

Toutefois, c'est sans grand succès... Qu'est-ce qui est le plus populaire? Manufacturing Dissent ou Fahrenheit 9/11?
May 2, 2012
On pourrait reprocher à ce "Polémique système" le fait d'être platement réalisé et bêtement factuel...tout à fait à l'opposé du boulot de Michael Moore en somme, lequel se montre souvent brillamment tourné mais se contrefout des faits ! Avec ses documentaires coup-de-poing visant tout autant le port d'armes que la guerre en Irak et le système de santé américain, l'homme à la casquette a fini par énerver beaucoup de monde. Ce qui est surprenant, c'est qu'il est même parvenu à énerver des gens qui, fondamentalement, soutiennent les mêmes causes que lui : Rick Caine et Debbie Melnyk ont décidé de découvrir pourquoi. Les deux documentaristes sont canadiens et de gauche, on ne peut donc guère les soupçonner d'être à la solde des Neo-Conservateurs et d'avoir voulu accrocher le scalp de Moore à la porte de leur ranch. Le duo semble d'ailleurs sincèrement navré des faits qu'il soulève car, malheureusement, le tableau ne joue guère en faveur du natif de Flint (né en réalité dans une banlieue prospère de cette ville). D'anciens amis et soutiens le décrivent comme un arriviste mégalomane, n'hésitant pas à mentir si besoin est et pas vraiment concerné par l'objectivité et des méthodes de travail à l'avenant : citations extraites de leur contextes, emploi d'acteurs pour simuler ce qu'il souhaite présenter comme la réalité, travestissement des chiffres et des faits, refus du dialogue avec ceux qui ne partagent pas son point de vue,...en fin de compte, ce documentaire ne fait que consolider ce que beaucoup soupçonnaient déjà, et on se rend compte par la même occasion que le problème n'est pas ce que Michael Moore est mais bien ce qu'il prétend être. Indiscutablement, l'homme est un polémiste compétent et parfois drôle, une version gauchisante et obèse de Ann Coulter ou de Rush Limbaugh, qui possède un réel talent pour (se) mettre en scène. S'il était reconnu comme tel, il n'y aurait pas grand chose à lui reprocher et il représenterait même exactement ce dont les Etats-Unis ont besoin pour enclencher une dialectique vicieuse avec ses alter-égos républicains. Mais que jusqu'en Europe, on le présente comme un chevalier blanc, promoteur de la vérité et dernier rempart de l'objectivité face à la propagande républicaine; que lui-même entretienne ce mythe sans jamais remettre en question la validité de ses méthodes, voilà qui pose problème et m'autorise à lui accoler l'étiquette de de "gros connard" et à ses panégyristes, celle d"imbéciles naïfs". Rien qu'en se "contentant" de la vérité, les documentaires de Michael Moore seraient pourtant déjà de sérieux réquisitoires anti-républicains. A manipuler l'information de la sorte, il ne fait que prêcher à des convaincus et indisposer les indécis. L'impact politique de son travail est donc à peu près nul ; les rentrées financières qu'il génère ne le sont pas et c'est peut-être sur ça que repose sa volonté de persister à dénoncer sans relâche les horribles tares de l'empire américain. Un explication que ce documentaire canadien ne privilégie pas explicitement mais qu'on l'entend quand même penser très fort...
March 24, 2012
This movie about the complications and manipulations of Michael Moore is a useful companion piece to Roger and Me and Fahrenheit 9/11. Even if you don't agree with its politics, the film will at least get you thinking
October 25, 2011
All Michael Moore disciples need to watch this
½ May 30, 2011
gonna' guess the low rating owes to the large "fanbase" this traitorous douche bag has.
March 27, 2011
Proves that Moore never lets the truth get in the way of a good story.
February 19, 2011
An above average Michael Moore style documentary on the documentary film maker Michael Moore. Moore comes off as a dishonesy asshole.
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