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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This film showed at Austin's SXSW Film Festival and was very well-received by audience. It is a balanced and fair biopic about controversial leftist film maker Michael Moore. The film makers seem to genuinely admire Moore's progressive politics and his desire to mobilize Americans against President Bush and the Iraq War, but have almost relunctantly come to question his methods. As the project continues they explore the nature of Moore's fuzzy relationship with the "truth." They become increasingly troubled by his penchant for using just about any means to promote his political ends.
They document numerous inaccuracies and manipulation in several of his films. They suggest that Moore has become larger than life and cares more about his own success than his political goals. The portrait is a fair one that presents him as an insecure megalomaniac and roughly the leftist equivalent Rush Limbaugh. The audience is left to consider whether Moore really helps the causes that he supports or merely promotes greater political polarization for his own personal benefit.
This is a thoughtful and intelligent biopic that delves into Moore over-sized personality and in doing so raises many important questions about the Moore personally, about his films, about the nature and rules of documentary film making itself. Every Michael Moore fan should see it so that they can begin to evaluate the veracity and ethics that underlie his work.
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