Tag Archives: Michael Moore

Fahrenheit 11/9

According to Michael Moore, we have Gwen Stefani to blame. Donald Trump found out that she was being paid more to be a judge on The Voice than he was to host The Apprentice. To prove his popularity, he staged a fake presidential run announcement. His improvisations were so blatantly racist, NBC had no choice but to fire him outright, so in a sense his move backfired, but he looked around and saw people waving placards on his name, and even if he did pay them $50 a piece to do so, he liked it.

The film is immediately and unapologetically a Michael Moore movie, its voice over irreverent and predictable. For many minutes, footage of election night seems intent on proving how little rhythm Democrats have. But eventually we get to the meat of the problem.

mv5bmje4ndyxntk4mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnte1mdmxnjm@._v1_Historically, Michael Moore is inflammatory, but he preaches to the choir. I don’t think he’s converted anyone. And this movie isn’t going to do it, either. Republicans have proved impervious to shame or guilt or responsibility. That’s fine. Instead, this movie does something almost smart: it talks to democrats. It can’t change the idiots in the republican party or the fools who vote for them, but maybe, maybe, it can fix some of the problems in the democratic one. Because let’s face it: to elect Donald Trump, you need more than republican idiots. You need blind democrats and a whole bunch of apathy.

Who are the faces of change? The democrats have relied on an old guard for too long – an old guard who inspires no one. So grassroots candidates, minorities and women, are getting involved to steal the seats back. After all, isn’t democracy supposed to be rule by the people? I didn’t feel nearly as engaged with the film until it met up with the Parkland kids. After the shooting at their school, a fire was lit, and they were able to organize protests around the world. These kids have a passion for change that is both admirable and infectious. Their involvement in politics can’t come soon enough. Their parents and grandparents have failed them, but it’s just possible that when they storm the white house, and I mean getting elected into it rather than protesting outside it, real change may come to a system that was born broken.

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Trumpland

I enjoy Michael Moore’s documentaries, but I’ve always thought they were largely unpersuasive because he preaches to the choir. He really only talks to the people who already agree with him. With Trumpland, and the stakes so high, Michael Moore finally attempts to identify with the other side, and this film is his plea to them.

colleen-oharaOfficially, Michael Moore is not exactly a Clinton supporter himself. He voted Bernie Sanders in the primary, and even voted against Bill in the 90s. But now it’s time to get real. Donald Trump was a good joke for a while, but now the threat is a little too real and he’s coming out swinging.

What this film, which is not in the normal style of  a Michael Moore documentary, but more just a filmed speech that he gave in the heart of Trumpland (Ohio), gets right is that he doesn’t waste time bashing Trump. Arguably, Trump does a good enough job of that himself. Instead, Moore looks toward Hillary as not just a viable alternative, but the only real choice.

Moore tries to justify the mystifying support of Trump by

a) Identifying the disenfranchised and understanding where they’re coming from. The current system has left some people (the former middle class) without dignity, and 160125114628-donald-trump-quote-shoot-somebody-super-169they’re pushing back, which is a normal response.

b) Speaking up for the angry, older white men (among which he counts himself) who find themselves going extinct and will not go down without a fight.

Of course, Trump is not the answer to either of those problems. Trump is going to make sure the whole country goes down in flames, whether you voted for him or not. But some people just don’t like Hillary, and to those people, Moore says: that’s okay. It’s okay to hate Hillary. You can hate her and still vote for her, for the love of your country, because you don’t want to see it destroyed, because you’re willing to make a sacrifice for the land you call home.

 

Where To Invade Next

Michael Moore is a bit of a trial. He’s a ham who manages to insert quite a bit of himself into every documentary he makes, whether the subject warrants it or not (mostly not). I also think he’s a patriot in the truest sense of the word: he questions things, not to tear down the country he considers to be great, but to make it even greater.

Where To Invade Next sounds like another documentary about George W.’s cauv-s3ukaaf8io-1failed wars and his love of randomly selecting countries to pillage. It’s not. Moore is symbolically “invading” various European countries so that he may “steal” their best ideas and bring them home for implementation. He looks at labour rights, education, women’s reproductive health, the financial crisis, and prison systems – inarguably ALL things that the USA is currently getting wrong. Just all kinds of wrong. Moore visits countries to “pick their flowers”, not their weeds, and cherry picks the best reforms that seem workable and right.

And that’s the infuriating thing about Michael Moore. His methods aren’t exactly truthful, but he’s right. He’s not concerned about appearing unbiased. He doesn’t need to consider the other side. He presents things as he sees them, in a persuasive and personal way. Which is why Michael Moore is where-to-invade-next-body2perhaps the most well-known documentarian, at least in America. He makes documentaries that people care to watch. Hell, they sometimes even screen in theatres. Real theatres!

Unfortunately, Moore has never been good at converting people. Teaching us – sure. But he won’t convince anyone who’s not already on board. In Where to Invade Next, Moore visits 9 countries, and they’re all quite worthy. Unfortunately, some of the principles require more than 10 minutes worth of explanation. His ideas are sound, but like my math teachers would always tell me: show your work! Giving us the answers has only limited appeal. We want to know how you got there. This film is simply Socialism 101, a scratch-the-surface survey course with an affable, wheezy professor.