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This Divided State (2005)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 677 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 23 user | 38 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

The film follows Micheal Moore's controversial decision to speak at the Utah Valley State College, where a heated debate between protestors and supporters argue Moore's First Amendment freedom of speech rights.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kay Anderson ...
Himself
Jim Bassi ...
Himself
Sean Vreeland ...
Student Petitioner
...
Himself
...
Himself (as Ken Brown)
Joe Vogel ...
Himself
Alex Caldiero ...
Animated UVSC Professor
Bob Rasmussen ...
Asst. VP Student Life
William Sederburg ...
UVSC President
Pierre LaMarche ...
UVSC Philosophy Professor (as Pierre Lamarche)
Phil Gordon ...
UVSC Communication Chair
...
Himself
Dennis Potter ...
UVSC Philsophy Professor
Sean Hannity ...
Himself
Jessie Steele ...
Sean Hannity's victim
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Storyline

The film carefully examines the divisive nature of politics in an overwhelmingly conservative mid-western community. In September 2004, the student body representatives of Utah Valley State College invited controversial filmmaker Michael Moore to speak on campus two weeks before the Presidential election. An unanticipated uproar from the students and community ensued. Moore protestors claimed university funds should not pay for Moore's visit, while those in support of Moore fought to defend free speech. A community once considered politically passive was stirred to action, and the conflict played out in the media and several public forums. Those opposed to Moore's visit, in an effort to have the invitation rescinded, resorted to death threats, petitions, law suits, and bribery. Moore supporters, living in the high concentrate of Mormon conservatism, struggled to be heard, to defend new ideas, and to keep plans for his visit on track. Steven Greenstreet, the film's director, tracks the... Written by Michelle Pate

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Death Threats, Bribery, and Family Values.

Genres:

Documentary

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Release Date:

22 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jaettu maa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmmakers edited 76 hours of raw footage down to its final running time of 88 minutes. See more »

Quotes

Kay Anderson: Free speech works because most of us know when to keep our mouths shut.
See more »

Connections

References Blue Velvet (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Perfect Worm
Written and Performed by The Vile Blue Shades
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User Reviews

 
This is not a Michael Moore film
10 August 2006 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Despite the fact that it is a Michael Moore-style documentary starring Michael Moore, it is in fact directed by the not-so-well-known Steven Greenstreet. If I had known this before I started watching, I may have just assumed that this is one of Moore's fans trying to piggy-back off his success and earn a few dollars. I'm glad that I didn't realise until the closing credits.

The documentary follows the enormous controversy surrounding Utah Valley State College's decision to host a speech from Michael Moore in the lead-up to the 2004 Presidential Election. It follows the protesters on both sides and in particular the student council leaders responsible for the event.

I must say I was somewhat amazed by the lack of blatant view-pushing. The documentary captured exactly what the title suggests - two fiercely opinionated and divided camps. There is very little intervention by the film-maker, and given the shocking nature of some of the material, any nudging towards the direction of free speech really isn't necessary.

What I saw shocked me far more than I expected. I mean, I know that Utah is the reddest state in the Union, and I know that they are 75% Mormon, and I know that they don't like Michael Moore, but I was absolutely dumbstruck by their complete intolerance and ridicule of "liberals". Sean Hannity is a well-respected Republican figure in the state, and the film includes footage of his speech given to a packed stadium at Utah Valley State College in the lead-up to Moore's visit. During this speech, when Hannity asks for a show of hands as to who will be voting for Kerry, any person who dares raise their hand is booed, called a "fool" and told that they are still young so they will learn. Hannity even goes so far as to mock liberals for being poor and singles out one proud Democrat who he brings up onto the stage offering to "Hannitise" him before feeding him to the wolves. Apparently, "liberals" such as Moore are corrupting us with "evil filth" when we choose to listen to him.

The telling part for me, is that whilst Moore aims to shock (with the noble intention of moving people to action instead of apathy), at no stage did he resort to such tactics in his speech at the university. He spoke about freedom of speech, about the war on Iraq and about non-discrimination. Pretty decent goals really.


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