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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Despite being yet another attack on Moore, it offers some unique perspectives
I liked that this film did not focus too much on the same stuff we've all read about before. About half of the film discusses Michael Moore before he made Bowling for Columbine. Specifically, they examine his work as a magazine editor, and they examine Roger and Me. But even then, the main focus wasn't to illustrate Moore's manipulative techniques. Most people already know about that. Instead, the main focus in the film was to illustrate that Moore, himself, is a phony.
There is a distinct parallel to the plot of Roger and Me, which I thought was too much of an homage to Moore, but perhaps appropriate given the context of this documentary. The film crew is constantly struggling to get an interview with Moore, and Moore consistently gives them the runaround.
So I guess one interesting aspect of the film is that they show how Moore is very willing to put other people in uncomfortable situations or catch them off guard so as to juxtapose their fumbling against his well-prepared rhetoric. However, when Moore is threatened with the same tactic by his opponents, he cowers and fights dirty to avoid it. He knows how chicken sh*t it is.
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