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When Michael Moore unleashed Roger & Me during the 1989 holiday season - occasioning NOW's wide-ranging interview with the director - the world of documentary filmmaking experienced a seismic shift.
As journalist-turned-moviemaker Moore gleefully put himself in the frame chasing down the General Motors CEOs who'd abandoned Flint, Michigan, cinéma vérité got its ass kicked, the neutral documentary seemed a thing of the past and the once unseen doc maker became a rock star.
Since then, his 12 pointedly political films have, among other things, dissected capitalism (Capitalism: A Love Story), lashed out at America's lack of medical insurance (Sicko) and bemoaned the national gun obsession in Bowling For Columbine, which won the Oscar for best documentary feature in 2003 - all with a hefty dose of humour.
Of course, some argue that Moore created a few monsters by giving directors permission to unleash their egos. (See Morgan Spurlock.) But others insist Moore gave docs new life.
Check out Roger & Me when TIFF celebrates its first appearance at the fest 25 years ago with a screening Monday (September 8). Moore also participates in day 1 of the Doc Conference Tuesday (September 9). Our TIFF coverage begins here.