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Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore

Debbie Melnyk , Rick Caine    DVD

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Product Description

Product Description

Michael Moore, world famous muckraker and flag bearer for the documentary renaissance, has the camera turned on him in this revelatory critical biography by Canadian filmmakers Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine. They follow Moore on the cusp of the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, the subsequent Slacker Uprising Tour and the 2004 US election. But even as they doggedly pursue an elusive interview with Moore (sound familiar?), the filmmakers find many former associates and subjects willing to talk. Some of the findings are quite shocking, calling into question not only Moore's practice as a documentarian, but also the effectiveness of his self-centred approach to political filmmaking. Seeking to separate the fact, fiction and legend that surrounds Moore, Melnyk and Caine ultimately offer a balanced portrait and an effective starting point for further discussion of Moore's contentious work and political filmmaking in general.

Review

"'Manufacturing Dissent': Turning the lens on Michael Moore." -- John Anderson, INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

"An intelligent, provocative and necessary examination of the phenomenon of Michael Moore" -- Joe Leydon, VARIETY

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
85 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Legitimate Criticism Oct. 6 2007
By Argus Human Rights - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I agree with most of Michael Moore's politics and appreciate that he has helped bring many vital issues into the mainstream. He's done a ton to raise awareness. That said I also think the film "Manufacturing Dissent" is fair and has very legitimate criticisms of Moore's tactics. I would hope that Michael Moore would welcome the criticism. Many people will undoubtedly have a strong opinion about this film without watching it just as most conservatives have very strong opinions about Moore without ever having watched his films (Like the previous reviewer "Bob K" who thinks this is actually a Michael Moore film). I say it is wiser to keep silent until you can speak intelligently on a subject.

The one thing the film is lacking is context. Moore is popular because the mainstream media feeds off highly polarized simplistic politics. So to talk about Michael Moore with out talking about the mainstream media and its manufactured culture is like making a film about a football player without mentioning the football game.

Watch this film but also watch Michael Moore's films. For all the criticisms, Moore's films are worth watching but with the understanding he sometimes plays tricks to make his point. Even knowing about his tricks I still believe that most his points are valid.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fair Critique of Moore Nov. 27 2007
By A. Madison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
First off, I am very sympathetic to Michael Moore's ideas. I would love to see more gun control in the US, the Iraq war come to an end, and health care for everyone. I enjoy his movies for their entertainment value and because they champion causes I believe in. His methods, however, are disturbing. How can you trust anything the guy says knowing the following: The premise of "Roger & Me" was Moore's quest and ultimate failure to get an interview with Roger Smith. Turns out he did interview Roger Smith but decided to cover it up since it didn't make for a compelling movie.

Manufacturing Dissent is a fair documentary. The interviews are with people from both sides. Some love Michael Moore, some hate him. But the important thing is that a lot of the people interviewed worked with Michael Moore. The movie reveals that Moore is not necessarily in search of the truth, just in search of a way to validate things he already believes to be true. This movie is great for anyone who values intellectual honesty.

See Manufacturing Dissent for its content, because its production quality will not impress.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MIXED REACTION Feb. 24 2013
By Gerhardt J. Steinke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I first saw THIS film two years ago after having seen Fahrenheit 451 and Sicko. Although some criticism of Manufacturing Dissent is right on point, I see very little that debunks the MAIN takeaway messages of the above films. Granted that Michael Moore's credibility would be greatly improved if he (with all his money) would get himself in decent shape. OUCH. He looks morbidly obese and like a walking time bomb. Having said that, his Sicko was very well done in valid fact-based comparisons of our so called USA "health care" with other modern countries.
I differ from one of the one star reviewers who suggests I should see 30 or 40 hours of other Moore video before commenting on THIS film which is at issue: Manufacturing Dissent. WHEW.

Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause[

[ASIN:B00005Y726 Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media]]
54 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting angle on Moore but mediocre Documentary Oct. 25 2007
By Richard Burbon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
First see all of Michael Moores Documentary's...(including BLOOD IN THE FACE and PETS OR MEAT) - then watch both of Moore's TV show Box sets.
Then watch this.
It will make more sense - since this film is not put together very well...but should be seen simply because someone who has had such an impact on modern film - as MM has - should have their tactics examined.
I think it's important to recognize that, for better or worse - the onslaught of Documentaries in recent years would have never gotten made or released or accepted if it werent for MM... (including this one).
He made the modern documentary appealing to the average person.
Also: Moore is a comedian - he makes very funny movies about very serious subjects. An overwhelming majority of comedians utilize social commentary in their acts. So why not a documentarist? If you want to look at Moore - you need to keep in mind that his style is directly linked to Will Rogers and Mark Twain. Is he 100% truthful? I'd say I believe undoubtedly that he believes in the points he makes. I would also say he does in editing what an Attorney does when presenting a case. Moore always makes a good case and always makes us laugh. This is something this documentary didn't understand.
12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turnabout is more than fair play in this documentary July 10 2008
By David C. Read - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
What is interesting about this documentary is that it is made not by conservatives, but by Canadian liberals who largely share Moore's left-wing perspective. They start out sympathetic to Moore, but, by the end, are finally forced to admit that Moore is a self-aggrandizing liar whose films, while entertaining and well made, are certainly not "documentaries."

The filmmakers are clearly not hostile to Moore or his politics. For example, they point out that Moore was absurdly and unfairly prevented from being admitted to his high school's "hall of fame." And one of their critiques of "Bowling for Columbine" was that Moore, instead of calling for a ban on the handguns which are involved in most gun crimes, launched into a convoluted critique of American culture. Most of the interviewees were left-wing activists who totally share Moore's politics, and worked with him at places like "Mother Jones."

So it is all the more damning when they expose Moore's shoddy propaganda. The film most comprehensively dismantled is the one that made Moore's reputation--1989's "Roger and Me." The whole conceit of the film is that Moore chases GM CEO Roger Smith around with a camera and microphone, but never gets an interview. In reality, Moore got a 10 minute interview with Smith, the transcript of which still exists, although Moore tried to get his left-wing colleague to deny its existence. Moore crafted the movie to make it appear that he was alone in his quest to call GM to account, when in reality, there was a huge union and activist movement calling for the same things Moore was calling or. Moreover, Moore changed around chronology and invented out of whole cloth a story about a stolen news van (and shot a fake local new segment reporting the "story"). He also created a scene to make it appear that he had been cut off from speaking at GM shareholder's meeting when, in fact, that never happened.

Then there is "Bowling for Columbine," in which Moore staged a scene in which he receives a gun in return for opening a bank account, making it appear that you could get the gun right there in the bank, when he knew very well that that was not how it worked. And his ambush of Charlton Heston, who was already suffering from Alzheimers, is aptly decribed by another left-wing activist as "mean," which it certainly was.

Moore is a good and entertaining propagandist, but he is no journalist and he has never made documentary in his life.

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