Manufacturing Dissent Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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?