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Manufacturing Dissent is a topical documentary seeking to separate fact, fiction, and legend. It chronicles Michael Moore on tour during the promotion of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), all while exploring the politically charged climate in America that has prompted Moore's ascension from documentary filmmaker to icon of the political left. Written by
If you won't tell the truth because it's bad for the cause then the cause becomes a fiction, which is exactly what's happened. It's happened with the Left in the United States as a whole and it's happened with Michael Moore.
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An interesting film that rises above the shrill political silliness around Michael Moore's politics and messages.
Though I'm aware of the various liberties Michael Moore takes with his films, I never really gave it much careful thought. Mainly because I like Michael Moore and I agree with many of the arguments he makes. The film portrays Moore as a manipulative performance filmmaker who is quite egoistical and doesn't allow for much dissent against his own views when ever he organizes an event or make a speech. The film portrays him as a man who doesn't practice what he preaches, particularly when Moore's various security guards and media handlers refuse to allow the filmmakers film Michael Moore events and speeches. It demostrates that by careful editing, Michael Moore can manipulate events to fit his version of what happens and is a master of pulling stunts on camera to prove his point.
The film isn't a shrill diatribe about how Moore's ideas will lead to America's ruin. Instead it's a thoughtful film that asks people to be more media savy by setting Moore as an example. The fact that it's a Canadian production probably removes the filmmaker from the distracting American liberal and republican "issues" concerning Moore. Instead, we focus on the veracity of what Moore presents to us and the ethics of the way he manipulates the documentary genre. How Moore's appeal is not based on what he says but the entertainment value of how he presents his point of view.
After watching this film, I'm more cautious about Michael Moore, to always be mindful about what he presents and not always accept it as is. But even at that, I still like Michael Moore. He's a talented man who seems to have his heart in the right place when he makes his films and I don't think he's as egoistical as the film suggests he is.
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