Slacker Uprising Michael Moore

Slacker Uprising Michael Moore
Though skewing his own penchant for topicality, Michael Moore sent Slacker Uprising into the world for free online before November 4 in hopes of empowering young people to vote in droves, and it now seems like this scheduling may have had the most impact of any film in his career. The vilification of Michael Moore by the mainstream media was a dick move so inevitable it was practically telegraphed. Like Ralph Nader before him, Moore makes too much common sense for, well, everyone apparently, and by 2004, with the world running a dizzying Fahrenheit 9/11 fever, Moore-bashing was at its height. In this context, Moore, God bless him, was only emboldened, storming college campuses and arenas across the United swing States, armed with his sharp, impassioned wit, facts and a roster of like-minded "vote for change” advocates, including musicians and celebrities but also former government officials and ex- and current U.S. soldiers, all encouraging young people to register to vote. While we know how this story ends, Slacker Uprising documents this tour while managing to still be surprising and fascinating. Because Moore’s vote rallies were unabashedly pro-John Kerry, the filmmaker and event organizers frequently faced opposition and hostility from Republicans and paradoxically wimpy university administrations. So in each city, a story develops, such as right-wing attempts to charge Moore criminally for "bribing” students with clean underwear and Ramen noodles if they pledged to vote or hearing a slew of uninformed GOP supporters call Moore a liar and communist before admitting they’ve never seen his film or heard him speak. People like Eddie Vedder, Roseanne Barr, Viggo Mortensen, R.E.M., Steve Earle, Tom Morello and Joan Baez (who pretty much suggests that Michael Moore is this generation’s… Bob Dylan?) appear at different rallies to pledge their support for both the cause and Moore and, towards the end of the film’s positive rendering of the strong numbers in youth voter registration, it almost seems plausible that history can be rewritten. But it can’t, and despite the incredible awareness and energy it stirs up in new voters, and the fact that George W. Bush received the lowest number of votes for any sitting President in history, the Slacker Uprising tour was ultimately a failure. As demonstrated in this film, and short but provocative features like "George W. Bueller’s Day Off,” "They Worked for George W. Bush” and "Letter from the War Zone: Will They Ever Trust Us Again?” however, that failure was in no way a measure of Michael Moore’s lack of fortitude. Plus: deleted scenes, "America the Beautiful.” (Brave New Films)