Manufacturing Dissent: Unconvering Michael Moore
(Deborah Melnyk/Rick Caine, Canada, 2007) 74min
This article is from 2007.
Is Michael Moore a self-regarding political liability who also screws with journalistic codes of conduct, or a wayward truth seeker who has no truck with compromise as he pursues fairness and justice?
We probably didn’t need Deborah Melnyk and Rick Caine’s film to tell us it is frequently the former. Just looking at the way he edits his films and plays unfair with his subjects would be enough. But Manufacturing Dissent unpicks his films, his larger than life personality and also tries to get an interview with Moore about his work. That this isn’t forthcoming leads the viewer to wonder how much Moore has become like the subjects he films – wary and prickly – but also how much like Moore these two filmmakers become in striving to get that interview. A little more self-consciousness would have been useful here (to what degree have the filmmakers become the resentful stalkers themselves?), but this is solid and useful work. It is a Moore demolition job from the Left rather than the Right. After all, Melnyk admits from the outset she’s sympathetic to his films and his politics. (Tony McKibbin)
Cineworld, 623 8030, 23 Aug, 7.50pm & 24 Aug, 10.10pm, both £7.95 (£5.50).