Michael Wilson's MICHAEL MOORE HATES AMERICA has a terrible title and a terrible theme for an exposé of Michael Moore. Except in one instance which I'll get to later.
Michael Moore makes documentaries that edit and rearrange people talking to make them appear to be saying something entirely different then what they actually said. He setups situations off-camera so that he gets the result he wants on-camera. He leaves out vital facts. And, when others publicly correct the facts of his movies, he and his supporters fight back with fanatical rage and legal threats.
I keep hoping for a documentary that closely examines his techniques and the consequences of his duplicity. I didn't find that here.
There were a few examples. But very few. Instead the bulk of this film is given over to a examination of Moore's patriotism. It's really about "who loves America more -- Michael Moore or me (Michael Wilson)?"
In the process, Wilson even makes the same mistake that Moore makes (and most reporters make). Wilson carefully selects interviewees to counter Moore's pessimism and support his own position that America is great. And, in a movie about Moore misleading people used in his movie, Wilson is less than honest at times with interviewees about his movie's purpose (albeit, the question of his honesty is taken up on-camera).
I had to look closely to find the good moments in this film (besides the few exposés). The best was the effort to get an interview with Michael Moore which duplicated Moore's earlier (faked) documentary ROGER AND ME. And, the slightly inarticulate young serviceman without hands, who still focused on specifics in a way that Michael Wilson didn't.
The misguided nature of this movie suggests Wilson may be lucky he never went one-on-one with Moore. I don't think Wilson had the cleverness to tear down Moore on intellectual grounds. They're pretty much on equal footing.
That was demonstrated by the one confrontation they had in a university auditorium where Moore was giving a talk. Wilson managed to be one of the questioners and he bungled his invitation to Moore for an interview by first bringing up the stupid title of this documentary.
And that's where this title worked. Where it shouldn't have. Since the title is so simplistic -- so vague and futile for analytical purposes -- and since Moore was among 7 thousand of his supporters -- Moore, if he had more brains then his detractors give him credit for, could have made a joke of it. Instead, he lost control.
So, it seems the detractors are right about Michael Moore. He isn't very bright. (No. That's not a good title either.)