What a blunder for them. No way would they have funded it they had known how it would turn out!
A controversial documentary about Oscar winner Michael Moore, which is creating hot debate in North America, was partly funded by Australian money. The film, Manufacturing Dissent, explores Moore's life and questions some of his ethical practices during the making of documentaries including Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 911. Although the filmmakers were initially supporters of Moore who simply wanted to explore his remarkable career, the documentary eventually turns nasty, claiming Moore has fudged some facts in his famous docos to drive home his agenda. Moore, who is considered the most powerful documentary maker in the world, is said to be outraged by the film's emerging profile on the documentary circuit.
Although it was made by Canadian filmmakers Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine, the movie was completed only because of early funding from SBS in Australia. While Manufacturing Dissent takes a few easy pot shots at Moore's phenomenal wealth, it also raises questions about ethical documentary making. The documentary had its premiere in North America nearly three weeks ago, with film fans queuing for hours in the hope of gaining entry to the screening.
The film is expected to be one of the biggest drawcards on the global film festival circuit this year, with every likelihood it may screen at one of Australia's key film festivals before being aired on SBS this year. A spokeswoman from SBS confirmed the Australian link to the project, saying early funding had helped the filmmakers finish the Moore project. SBS executives pre-bought the licence to the film. "The money for that is given at an early stage in the filmmaking, which guarantees some funding to the filmmaker so they can finish the program," the spokeswoman said.
Moore is yet to comment publicly on the documentary, but in at least one segment of it, his minders are seen forcing the crew to stop filming.
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