Michael Moore’s America

It seems almost absurd now to recall that, only a few years back, documentary films were considered box office poison, and were treated like the bastard stepchild of the industry. Then came Michael Moore, whose Bowling for Columbine “turned the tables on the conventional wisdom that America was full of Bible-thumping, gun-toting conservatives: in fact, it was full of people who wanted to see their private stirrings of dissent put out there by someone who had a few facts at his disposal and dared to poke fun at the powerful.” Moore’s humorous but stinging criticism of conservative America, and of its current president in particular, is defining a new generation of documentary film, and helping to throw the polarization of the U.S. into stark relief.