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Janet K. Rauch
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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It's hard to count how many documentaries have been made about Michael Moore, but those made by Canadian left-wing fans seem to be a bit scarcer. Supported largely by Canadian financiers, Manufacturing Dissent starts out as a balanced exploration of filmmaker and political personality Michael Moore. The film documents Moore during his 2004 national touring campaign for Fahrenheit 9/11, his politically sensational documentary that spoke out against the integrity of the Bush Administration. As the film progresses, the filmmakers are disappointingly unsuccessful in securing an interview with Moore, and as they try, facts arise questioning Moore's credibility as a journalist, his film-making techniques, and his personal character. It concludes on a much less optimistic note than at the beginning, gradually disclosing a reluctantly-developed disenchantment with the fervent Midwestern public activist. What makes Manufacturing Dissent particularly unique is its resistance from sensationalizing its condemning findings. With an attitude of professional reserve, Manufacturing Dissent strategically uses subtlety and a careful resolve to disclose straightforward facts and present the comments of interviewees with accuracy and integritya set of convictions that many viewers, in turn, observe to be lacking from Moore's bountiful supply. This is a film that speaks, first and foremost, to the die-hard fans of Michael Moore. Leftist followers owe it to themselves to experience the cautious, revealing process that this film provides.
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