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Documentary - Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore DVD

Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore
Directed by Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine
Mongrel Media 2007
96 minutes

You can say whatever you want about Michael Moore but you have to admit that aside from the dreadful Canadian Bacon he makes an interesting movie. This can also be said about the Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore DVD . The movie works. It is perhaps not as immediately interesting as Roger & Me, Bowling For Columbine, or Fahrenheit 9/11 but if you give it time to build its case it becomes a solid and interesting documentary. In fact, Moore becomes what he made Roger Smith out to be and it is fascinating to watch him do it.

The premise of this documentary DVD is it is unbiased because Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine did not plan to show what Moore really is. Instead, they wanted to make an honest to goodness documentary about someone they liked and uncovered some really nasty bits about Michael Moore and a rather nasty Moore. Thus the title Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore. The documentarists achieve something a lot of people have failed to do before: knock Moore down many pegs.

It is not their fault their documentary is well made but takes a while to get really interesting: Moore himself is not really an interesting character. Ironically, Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore becomes the story documentary film makers trying to get an interview with famous guy, a formula fans of Roger & Me will be familiar with. The documentary also other Moore style elements, though more honestly, to make their target a bad guy, including a few right wing nuts right off the streets, protesters, and interviews with people who knew the target back then or have an axe to grind with the subject.

Moore himself helps out the film makers tremendously by being as big a tool as he portrays Roger Smith, gun nuts, and George Bush to be in his movies. You have to love the moment where after denying Melnyk and Caine access to his soundboard and event, Moore goes on stage and says how liberals welcome all points of view. Even more fascinating and to Moore's discredit is Melnyk and Caine use some of Moore's own tactics, such as printing up business cards for themselves, and Moore's people calling them on it before kicking them out of a venue where Moore is again being a proponent of freedom of speech.

Moore is also incredibly disingenuous when he keeps coming up with excuses so as to deny Melnyk and Caine an interview while still being charming to them on camera. In the end, Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore reveals where the right wing nuts who tried to bring down Moore went wrong: they did not let Moore do it himself.

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