I recently watched this movie on Michael Moore "Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore". It isn't one of these full blown debunk MM movies but it's not too far from "Fareighnhype 9/11" and the other people that feel the need to pick at his style of movie making. Basically,
Right of the bat, I am a fan of MM.He makes me laugh, is one of the innovators in documentary film and brings the masses to the theaters to watch Docs. Before him and Errol Morris came around Feature docs were only good for PBS and the NFB vaults. So, thanks MM.
As a filmmaker, when I hear that Docs like this Manifacturing Dissent propose that Docs are the sacred truth and state that no manipulations of facts should occur. I always flashback to the first time I worked on a doc straight out of film school.
I think I was booming, Gripping and Transport. I stood in shock as the director called "cut!" and asked the subject to "do it again...." but with some dramatic variation. Wait a minute, I was always taught that Documentaries were reality shooting, fly-on-the-wall shooting. There are no takes. You get it or not then go home. Now that I am less nieve and just a little more jadded about the process. I have like many others realized that Docs are fiction.
They are the Grand-Father's of Reality TV. And over the years, I have worked on and edited long and short format doc-style media and you are constantly creating a story. That is the Filmmaker's job and dare I say "by any means nessasary" your mission. Moreover, from the beginning of cinema, documentaries have had a fraudulent smell. (i.e. Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan)
When I look at a film like "Manufacturing Dissent", I see the film child I use to be accusing MM of playing with timelines and creating drama by ommiting information and sometimes even lying. I laugh and realize that some people still believe that Docs are "Pure & Clean", the Saints of Cinema. They see the director as a mere scientist that points his film recording device and disects the footage to present a objective/stoic view for the audience to judge. Unfortunatly, I think most filmmakers are aware that this utopian approach would result in a official selection at the Boring film festival.
So go see this movie. Seriously, rent it, put on your Ziplist or Netflix list. I think most people should watch this movie and its siblings; as a filmmaker all movies are worth watching. It is still interesting to see how they use the same techniques that MM use to make their movies more entertaining and opt not to use the utopian boring passive technique that they propose he should use. It sort of ironic.