Michael Moore's Minions

Manufacturing Dissent, a documentary that takes a close look at the fimmaking methodology of Michael Moore, is making its world premiere at SXSW. Made by a couple of leftist political activists from Toronto, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine, the film comes not from the usual right-wing bashers of Moore but instead from a couple of filmmakers who started off as fans. Yet as they proceeded to make their film and investigate further, a number of questions arose as to some half-truths and tactics employed by Moore over the course of his own filmmaking career. John Pierson, the former producer's rep who sold Roger & Me to Warner Bros. for a then-record figure, now teaches at UT-Austin, and one of his producing class' assignments involves the group promotion of a film screening at SXSW. Pierson, who remains an ardent advocate for the historic value of Roger & Me as the film that broke documentaries' presumed box-office curse and opened the field for anitestablishment filmmakers, is also one of those interviewed for Manufacturing Dissent. Pierson's class, though bummed about the film's discoveries about Moore, decided to rep Manufacturing Dissent as their class project. Mysteriously, these fliers appeared around campus the week before SXSW began accusing Pierson of using his students as slave labor to settle an old vendetta. Although Moore has not responded to a request for comments in a piece written for The NewYork Times last Sunday, nor to a piece in the current Chronicle, it appears that somebody in Moore's camp is anxious to his Moore's good name.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW, Manufacturing Dissent, Michael Moore, John Pierson

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