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Documentary questions Moore's tactics
By CHRISTY LEMIRE, AP Movie WriterSun Mar 11, 6:02 PM ET
As documentary filmmakers, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine looked up to Michael Moore.
Then they tried to do a documentary of their own about him — and ran into the same sort of resistance Moore himself famously faces in his own films.
The result is "Manufacturing Dissent," which turns the camera on the confrontational documentarian and examines some of his methods. Among their revelations in the movie, which had its world premiere Saturday night at the South by Southwest film festival: That Moore actually did speak with then-General Motors chairman Roger Smith, the evasive subject of his 1989 debut "Roger & Me," but chose to withhold that footage from the final cut.
The husband-and-wife directors spent over two years making the movie, which follows Moore on his college tour promoting 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film shows Melnyk repeatedly approaching Moore for an interview and being rejected; members of Moore's team also kick the couple out of the audience at one of his speeches, saying they weren't allowed to be shooting there.
At their own premiere Saturday night, the Toronto-based filmmakers expected pro-Moore plants in the audience heckling or trying to otherwise sabotage the screening, but it turned out to be a tame affair.
"It went really well," Melnyk said. "People really liked the film and laughed at the right spots and got the movie and we're really happy about it."
Moore hasn't commented publicly on "Manufacturing Dissent" and Melnyk thinks he never will. He also hasn't responded to several calls and e-mails from The Associated Press.