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This Divided State (2005)

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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 679 users   Metascore: 69/100
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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 overview, first billed only:
Kay Anderson ...
Jim Bassi ...
Sean Vreeland ...
Student Petitioner
Michael Nigro ...
Himself (as Ken Brown)
Joe Vogel ...
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
Dennis Potter ...
UVSC Philsophy Professor
Sean Hannity ...
Jessie Steele ...
Sean Hannity's victim


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 Those opposed to Moore's visit, in an effort to have the invitation rescinded, resorted to death threats, petitions, law suits, and bribery.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


Death Threats, Bribery, and Family Values.




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Release Date:

22 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jaettu maa  »

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$10,000 (estimated)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


Alex Caldiero: Is Michael Moore a filmmaker?
UVSC Student: He makes documentaries.
Alex Caldiero: Oh, you think so? And a documentary means what to you?
UVSC Student: It's means an objective view point...
Alex Caldiero: Really? There's no such thing as an objective view point, my friend! Wake up! Wake up!
UVSC Student: There's no such thing as an objective view point?
Alex Caldiero: There's no such thing... I'll say it.
[Turns to camera lens]
Alex Caldiero: . There's no such thing as an objective view point! We all see things through filters! Filters!
See more »


Featured in Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore (2007) See more »


Living in America
Performed by The Sounds
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The face of American political culture (exposed)
25 March 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The American heartland of tolerance proves to be tolerant only to its own beliefs.

What should have been just another election time political talk turned to be an insight into the democratic values of USA.

The producers take their time to build up our knowledge of the students and the community involved, and it is a good thing. This moves the focus away from Moore and into the events that transpired before (and after) his arrival. Good time is spent on the students themselves and their views, as well as the major figure representing the conservative residents. Both sides get a fair balance.

What comes out of the film is how shockingly low are the democratic values many US citizens hold. In a country which prides itself about being an example of democracy, a leader of the "Free World" there is just as much intolerance as anywhere else. The part where the conservative personality gives a talk is unpleasant to watch for any supporter of democracy.

This documentary should strike the average US American as a wake up call about how complacent democratic citizens can be when it comes to their political ideas. Everyone likes to thing they are upstanding democratic citizens, until M.Moore comes to town! The true test of democracy is being willing to listen to points of view opposite to your own and not outright dismiss them as wrong or even evil. This little film painfully depicts that (at least) the Utah community failed this test miserably.

On the other hand I'm sure that many Utah citizens didn't have a problem with M.Moore coming to town. Unfortunately either the film fails to represent them or I am mistaken and the film is right in giving the impression that most of Utah agreed with the extreme undemocratic views expressed from their prominent(?) citizen.

Is this the nature of politics? To be divisive? Would M.Moore speaking in a New York University have made such a show? Unlikely. Then I guess it must have been something about this Utah community. That could have been an area that the documentary could have explored. In doing so it would have be digging deeper into the heart of politics (and rational thought at that). Stil, even with its more narrow scope this little gem does very well. Very well indeed.

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