Saturday, March 17, 2007

Manufacturing Dissent

Documentary filmmakers, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine have chosen a fascinating subject for their film Manufacting Dissent, Michael Moore and the tactics he uses in making his films. The filmmakers claim to be admirers of Moore but their film appears to be quite critical.

I've always found it helpful to be seperate what might be the reality of a person like Michael Moore and the the role performed by their public persona. I don't like all of his films and often find myself cringing at his use of "the ambush", but at the same time I'm greatful that he is playing the role that he is. We need dissenting voices and a few Chicken Littles running around screaming that the sky is falling because, sometimes, it is.

Wired news article: Film Questions Michael Moore's Tactic.

Then they tried to do a documentary of their own about him - and ran into the same sort of resistance Moore himself famously faces in his own films.

The result is "Manufacturing Dissent," which turns the camera on the confrontational documentarian and examines some of his methods. Among their revelations in the movie, which had its world premiere Saturday night at the South by Southwest film festival: That Moore actually did speak with then-General Motors chairman Roger Smith, the evasive subject of his 1989 debut "Roger & Me," but chose to withhold that footage from the final cut.

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