The Un American

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Kevin Leffler did a documentary on Michael Moore. The original movie (back in 2007 or 2009) was called "Shooting Michael Moore", an edgy title that played on him video shooting others. This somehow got repackaged in 2018 as an Amazon Original, "The Un American"... I think a little moore material was added (pun intended) -- the Internet was semi-scrubbed of the original release, so I'm not sure how much of the original project got trimmed and how much was added. But the latest cut is interesting and worthy of watching.

Review

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When Moore first started making some of his Communist Documentaries, I started investigating them and their accuracy. And was appalled at his dishonesty and techniques: he was never a documentarian (trying to document what happened), he was a dishonest propagandist. By the early/mid 2000's, I started documenting the errors/dishonesties in some of his movies like Roger and Me, F9/11, that I knew of, and found there were LARGE websites devoted to debunking his tricksterism. And I didn't have time to flesh out the web domain I'd bought (mooreon.com), so I let it go. (NOTE: His website logo was him peeking, so I'd spoofed that).

This documentary is by one of his high school classmates, who decided to do a documentary documenting who Michael Moore really is, and just a few of the deceptions he did. He points out that he would defend Michael Moore's right to free speech and to say what he wants... but that doesn't exempt him from consequences or being exposed. I've followed Moore's dishonesties, both then and since -- so little in this movie was a surprise (though it did cover some material I didn't know), it was just nice that someone put it all down. Of course it would take 10 hours to document the frauds and mistakes in any one Moore film, let alone all of them, or of the hypocrisies of his personal life -- but this at least went over some of the low-lights

The documentary follows the people that worked on or were in his films (or books) and their views of him or his techniques, and how he deceived them (including duping illiterates into signing movie releases for $100), about lawsuits filed (and lost), or how his movies were used as anti-American propaganda by Osama Bin Laden, Hesbola and Iran -- all to make America look bad. Or how Castro subsidized and helped spin the falsehoods in "Sicko". It seems the enemies of the U.S., (both foreign and domestic) are Moore's biggest fans, or at least they are gullible rubes.

The film-maker does some of Mike's jerkiness back at him like, "looking for Mike" in the places he claims to reside, and throwing a "surprise birthday" party for him... but alas, Michael evades him in the exact same ways that Roger Smith did in Roger and me. (Who knew famous people might avoid interviews from kooks?)

The documentarian is a CPA, so he shows how Michael Moore cheated on his taxes, was registered to vote in more than one state, held stocks in Exxon, Halliburton, drilling companies, Private Healthcare companies and other evil corporations that he's railed against in his movies. And Moore has claimed, "he doesn't own one share of evil corporate stocks", and stuff like that. Of course Michael's holdings might be to get their annual reports and explore them -- but it goes against what he's said. He shows Michael Moore's violations of environmental law: like disrupting wetlands, stumping trees or using heavy machinery without a permit. Again, holding him to the same standards he wants to hold others.

Probably not a completely balanced piece, nor the most comprehensive. But an amusing counter-balance the myths he portrays.

Of course I never heard of this documentary... because it's better and more honest than anything Michael Moore has done. It turns out this was part of an earlier work that was also suppressed (in at least some venues) because they claimed the title "Shooting Michael Moore" was too edgy. It's on Amazon now.

This documentary probably won't change anyone's mind -- those who don't like Michael, will just get a dose of confirmation bias, and fanboy's won't be convinced by mere facts -- but if you're in between, or just want to get both sides of the story, this movie does a pretty good/entertaining job of layout a small subset of the reasons why Michael Moore is a bit of a douche-nozzle, and definitely not what he claims.


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