Amy Goodman spends the hour with one of the most famous independent filmmakers in the world. For the past twenty years, Michael Moore has been one of the most politically active, provocative and successful documentary filmmakers in the business. His films include Roger and Me; Fahrenheit 9/11; Bowling for Columbine, for which he won the Academy Award; and his latest, Capitalism: A Love Story.
Michael Moore does not “play well with others.”
The amount of rancor this professional iconoclast is capable of generating was fully presented to the nearly twenty of us who viewed a DVD of his July interview by Amy Goodman. The hour-long special Democracy Now! show began lightheartedly, with Mr. Moore relating how unlikely it seemed to him that he would win an Oscar for his Bowling for Columbine documentary.
But of course he did win. There followed footage of his acceptance speech, which included a passionate appeal to President Bush to stop the US invasion of Iraq. This was just five days into the attack.
The reaction was immediate. Mr. Moore was booed while still on stage, and verbally abused and shunned afterward. Ultimately, fearing for himself and his family, he hired bodyguards for protection around the clock.
Near the end of the interview, Ms. Goodman asked if he would do it again. Mr. Moore, uncharacteristically groping for words, said that while he would like to say yes, he probably would not, because of the effect the harassment and threatening behavior had on his family.
So the show ended on a poignant note: In the United States of America, in the twenty-first century, a man was made to fear for the safety of his family for speaking out against an action of his government. How sad.
Report prepared by Roger Zabkie, Secretary