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Friday, December 23, 2005

Comments

Joan Wallace

I haven't seen "Michael Moore Hates America." However, the title itself seems more than just merely provocative, although it's definitely that too. Even if the film itself features a cogent argument that Moore is in some way at cross purposes with what his implied or stated mission is, this title, all on its own, still begs some examination. To state the all too obvious, critical voices are essential in a democracy and are especially significant now given a near complete media monopoly, as well as this administration's attack on civil liberties. (The current spying scandal at the NSA is an interesting case in point.) So, to characterize dissent as unpatriotic, which is what this title clearly does (since Moore is a known dissenter), is itself working at cross purposes with what's vital right now. In fact, not only does this title seem provocative for promotional purposes only, it even does the job of supporting those who would suppress what is still terribly lacking in this country, particularly at his crucial, post-9/11 crossroads: the courage to dissent. I think a more nuanced title (which, with a little effort, could be just as provocative) would not only have served such a documentary better (if the film is indeed about sorting out some complex issues), but might also have spared Albert Maysles his later ambivalence, even if it's true that he mishandled it.

Pierre Skene

Aaron,

First of all, congratulations for this great interview with one of the best american filmmaker.

I did not see the "Michael Moore Hates America" but as a big Albert Maysles fan and after that controversy I can't wait to see it. I also watched the Quicktime video when Albert is told about the title of the movie. Albert looks so embarrassed. From my point of view, he changed his mind afterward but I think anybody has the right to do so. Even if he told the details of the story differently, what is important to remember is that he wasn't happy with the release. I think it's a big misunderstanding and i really hope both parties will come to terms with it.

Pierre
Montreal, Canada

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