Tuesday, May 22, 2007


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I have to be honest, Michael Moore Hates America is a good movie. I didn't really expect to see this film due to my already long list of overdue movies to watch. But, my best friend John watched it a while ago and recommended it and so, when I stumbled across it for free on YouTube, I thought I'd at least give it 10 minutes of my time. And after the first 10 minutes, I was sold. I continued watching all of the parts (10 in all) and I was completely engrossed. The film is not a hit piece on Michael Moore and the title really does a disservice to the actual arc of the film. This doc is more a personal journey of Michael Wilson as he tries to discover whether America is as bad as Michael Moore says it is. He analyzes some of Moore's unethical editing techniques in Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 and interviews some folks who took part in those films that felt he treated them unfairly.

For instance, the infamous Charlton Heston speech in
Bowling for Columbine is cut up and edited from two different speeches and omits a really fucking important statement of Heston. When Heston's NRA meeting comes to Littleton after Columbine, he answers his critics who said he shouldn't come there so soon after the school shootings. "Don't come here?" We're already here!", Heston pronounces. Moore cuts his speech here, but in reality, Heston continued... "We're the firefighters and doctors and house wives and school teachers. We're the rescue workers that arrived at the school after the shootings. We're Americans and our home is everywhere." Moore cutting this part out is stupid and lazy. Wilson actually gets up to a mic during one of Moore's speeches and accuses him of the Heston editing. Moore blurts out, "No! Those scenes are honest and edited correctly. You need to get your facts straight."

In the end, Moore never offers a personal interview to Wilson and the film ends with a great sum up of what it takes to be honest in documentary filmmaking and what it takes to be (to quote Sean Hannity) a Great American. A good film.


cowboy said...

This begs the question:
What documentary is not biased?

Mr. Moore has a particular bias at the genesis at any of his documentaries. He picks subjects that are personal and have suffient controversial quotient to get interest from outside funding and gambles on a healthy return on his/their investment. Documentaries are not always done for altruistic reasons.

I think Mr. Moore made us sit up and, at least, THINK about 1. corporate greed, 2. dirty politics 3. health-care industry. (Can you think of any more hotter issues?) He is a businessman. He knows what makes money and can fund his enterprise for a long long time.

On any documentary, we the viewers are savvy enough to recognize the bias and form our own conclusions.

Though, I hate to comment on this until I see it, I think all the previous Moore documentaries are entertainment-based and strayed into the mockery and ridicule realm. The Farhenheit 9/11 documentary seems to be pretty more on the scale towards what a true documentary should be. I trust "Sicko" will cause us to think again.

NateDredge said...

But I think Moore deserves the critism he gets, at least in this review if not in some of the more hard core things said against him by his political opponents. Moore cut ethical corners with his editing on numerous occasions, and that needs pointing out, especially too someone with the high aspirations to moral certitude (if not superiority) that Moore projects. Even if his larger points are valid, how far should we accept his ’fakery in the pursuit of truth’ (to borrow the unofficial slogan of the old ’March of Time’ newsreels).Its important to hold to some objective standard.