Michael (1954) Moore
- Category : 1954-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (7,20)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 1
American filmmaker and provocateur, Moore came to public attention in 1989 with his first documentary, "Roger and Me," about the financial impact on Moore's hometown and surrounding area when General Motors closed down a plant. He followed the successful film with "Bowling for Columbine" (2002) taking on the National Rifle Association and describing what he calls a "nation of fear." For the film, he was awarded a prize at the Cannes Film Festival as well as an Oscar on March 23, 2003. In 2004, his most controversial film to date, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, garnering its highest award, the Palme d'Or, on May 22, 2004. Up until that point, no film company in the US would release the film because it was so critical of President George W. Bush, his policies and actions particularly the Iraq War. Finally, the film was released on June 23, 2004 in New York and two days later nationwide. Within three months, it inspired so much public debate that three documentaries were released to refute and ridicule Moore’s work: “Michael Moore Hates America,” “Fahrenhype 9/11” and “Celsius 41/11: The Temperature at Which the Brain...Begins to Die.” Moore’s provocative film prompted President Bush’s father to denounce the movie as “a vicious personal attack on our son” and to label Moore a “slimeball.” Even Osama bin Laden mentioned the film. In his videotaped address released just before the 2004 presidential elections, bin Laden made reference to the scene in Moore’s documentary depicting Bush’s initial reaction, or lack thereof, to news of the attacks in the Florida class room.
Moore has been denounced as a “shrill lying lefty” and hailed as a hero, an agent of change, a truth-teller. Nearly everyone agrees that he has a great deal of power to influence outcomes in the United States. In the 2004 presidential elections, Moore attended both parties’ conventions though he was clearly working toward a Bush defeat. Moore’s supporters gave him credit for energizing the vote against George W. Bush while his detractors claimed that he was one of the reasons that Kerry lost the election.
Moore’s work is not limited to film. He was awarded an Emmy for this television series "TV Nation" (1994) and earned two additional Emmy nominations for "The Awful Truth" (1999). He is the author of several books, including "Downsize This!" (1996), "Stupid White Men" (2001) and "Dude, Where's My Country" (2003). His website, www.michaelmoore.com, is a platform from which he communicates his ideas, levels his criticism and forces attention to his causes. Whatever the medium, he is skillful in using humor, satire, sarcasm, poignant human-interest stories, and interviews to make his points.
Moore was raised in a working-class family in Flint, Michigan and attended a Catholic seminary at age 14 in the hopes of becoming a priest. At age 18, he won a race for public office on the Flint school board, but his life in politics lasted a mere four years. At age 22, he turned instead to journalism, founding "The Flint Voice," an alternative newspaper, which he edited for 10 years. He spent some time on the staff of the radical publication "Mother Jones" complaining that "someone should make a film of this." At age 35, he says he realized that no one else was going to make that film and so he took it upon himself to do so. "Roger and Me" was the result. Moore says it's his job to tell the American people the truth and he takes his work and his power seriously, even advocating for individual causes. When a healthcare provider denied a dying man a transplant, Moore held a mock funeral outside the offices of the HMO, winning the transplant for the patient.
Describing himself as an introvert, Moore is quiet about himself and his private life. Chubby, slovenly-looking, affable, but tenacious and sometimes “over the top,” the controversial filmmaker is married to co-producer Kathleen Glynn; they have a daughter Natalie. He is articulate, soft-spoken and never seems to get flustered even in the face of vitriolic criticism leveled against him. He says he hates being in the public eye but his job—to tell the truth—is too important to let his need for personal privacy stand in the way. He has announced that his next film is a documentary on health care. In December 2004 some pharmaceutical companies released memos to their employees advising them not to talk to the shaggy-haired filmmaker.