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This Divided State (2005)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 688 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
Michael Nigro ...
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 Those opposed to Moore's visit, in an effort to have the invitation rescinded, resorted to death threats, petitions, law suits, and bribery.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

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jaettu maa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

This Land Is Your Land
Written by Woody Guthrie
Performed by The Utah County Swillers and Steven Greenstreet
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User Reviews

Gasbag v Gasbag
10 January 2007 | by (Cambridge, UK) – See all my reviews

The ideologically bankrupt American populist right (not to be confused with intellectually honest, legitimate fiscal and/or social conservatives) has for many years now been handled with kid gloves. Social dialog in America has given serious consideration, for example, to such absurdities as given the "competing theories" of evolution and "intelligent design", "equal time." We have been browbeaten to accept obvious distorting blow-hards such as Anne Coulter as "columnists" and even "intellectuals." Here's the brilliance of Divided State: it doesn't take the kid gloves off (so it can't be accused of overt bias), but it does nevertheless show in no uncertain terms a clear dividing line between good and evil, between thoughtful and knee-jerk, between reasoned and ideologue. Without saying so explicitly, this movie very says loudly and clearly: these guys here are evil, greedy, manipulative buffoons and charlatans, while those guys are over there are decent and thoughtful.

But who is who? By any standard, the heroes of this story are the Utah Valley State College (UVSC) student leaders who took a not unreasonable stand against the many biases of their closed community at large and the many students of all political stripes who had the intestinal fortitude and intellectual honesty to support them. The heroes were the ones who spoke not in slogans, but in ideas, and could back up their views with reasoned, nuance, and, as this theme deals with uniquely American topics, Constitutionality.

By this and really any standard, the main antagonist, a local conservatively-minded resident, comes off as an absolute buffoon, and rightly so. The man was such a one-dimensional caricature of himself that I half expected a "kicker" at the end to be that he had done his actions as some sort of "test" to teach the students a good civics lesson (no spoiler here: he wasn't - he was sincere.) By this standard also, it's not too much of a surprise that windbag conservative host Sean Hannity also is far less than the sum of his salary might suggest when he is held up to the light.

The true genius of the filmmakers, however, was to show how even the movie's Messiah of sorts, liberal wind-bag Michael Moore, was also a particularly naked emperor.

There's a lot of good about this movie. See it.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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