TOPIC: Michael Moore – documentary filmmaker or pusher of propaganda?

-- Mack Rawden
Michael Moore is a buffoon, a misguided waste of talent that corrupts the idealistic promises of documentary filmmaking. For over one hundred years, muckrakers like Upton Sinclair and Bob Woodward have used both print and film to expose rampant inequalities and overt, democracy-crushing corruption. With every expose Michael Moore propagandizes, he pisses on the graves of pioneers and forefathers while trying to further his own selfish intentions.

The most important element of making a documentary film is to elevate the story above yourself. You present the facts in a clear, concise manner and allow readers and moviegoers to come to their own conclusions. Michael Moore does the exact opposite. By using leading queries, questionable cutting and framing methods, and in some cases, muddled facts, he tilts the documentary so far to one side that even the most sophomoric and ignorant viewers are led to question his veracity.

As a result of this moral turpitude, he simply reaffirms the long-held opinions of his supporters and solidifies the perceived liberal media bias of his detractors. So, in essence, everything remains exactly the same. Is there any worse slight against a filmmaker than the realization that his film hasn’t changed anyone’s thinking, only furthered the polarization of opinions of himself as a filmmaker? I don’t think so.

Michael Moore is a talented and brilliant filmmaker, but his documentaries are a complete waste of time, in which, he, not the subject matter, is the main star. I really wish he would start making important films that didn’t involve pandering to his partisan audience, but sadly, that’s about as likely as his new film Sicko convincing anyone of anything.

Michael Moore’s unorthodox combination of lofty subject matter, tabloid-style journalism, and self promotion has made him a lot of money. Sadly, he’ll eventually figure out, much like Leopold and Loeb or Ted Kennedy, that all the dollar bills in the world can’t shield your reputation from being exposed as a baseless, conniving, and downright pathetic disgrace to Errol Morris, Ken Burns, and scores of other honest and inspiring documentarians. Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, would have been so proud.

-- Daniel Solomon
I truly can’t understand the nitpickers who attack Michael Moore’s documentaries. Often they’re the same people who accuse Spongebob of promoting gay marriage, or denounce global warming studies because the researchers didn’t put a period after “We’re fucked.”

I will happily concede that Michael Moore has an agenda. So do I. So does freaking everyone. In promoting his beliefs, he may even make some things look more extreme than they really are by tinkering with context. However, those institutions that Moore targets (the NRA, HMOs, the Presidency) don’t even give us enough respect to politely polish a few turds. They prefer to just out-and-out lie. Because through their many years of feeding us steamed crap, they realized that we’ve gotten used to the taste. So much so that we’ll actually shoo away a guy like Moore, with his chef’s hat on, telling us we could have something much tastier if only we’d get our heads out of the damn trough.

Michael Moore fulfills the minimum requirements of documentary filmmaking, which is all we can really ask. He addresses his subject and all those related to it, and finds evidence to support a bigger-picture angle. Unless you believe Moore has the manly capability to hold a gun steady against someone’s head, then you can find his interview subjects credible. As for the numbers, they can’t be that inaccurate. I mean, the poor are being screwed hard by the rich, right?

The fact that he has an opinion does not disqualify him as a documentarian. Objectivity is not a requirement in this medium, and it never was. Neither is being physically attractive. If a documentary is a film made by pointing a camera at something and hoping it does what you want, then that perfectly suits Michael Moore’s approach. Instead of poison-arrow frogs, Moore trains his lens on assholes, and is completely unsurprised by the result. For some reason though, we are. We don’t want to believe that we have a cabal of Satanic jerk-offs running our country, so we call it “biased.” Well, it isn’t. Those bastards are real. I know, because I saw it in a documentary.

What do you think of Michael Moore?

Read previous Great Debates by clicking here.
Go where it all began, Great Debate in our Music section here.

Blended From Around The Web



Hot Topics

Cookie Settings