Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
Michael Moore’s new film Captain Mike Across America will premiere at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. Bad title, I know – I voted for Michael Moore’s Slacker Uprising Tour. “Captain Mike” seems like a really bad marketing idea to me, but what do I know? You can see the first image from the film above. I’m also very excited to catch this film at the festival TIFF documentary programer Thom Powers describes the film below:
Captain Mike Across America takes us back to the 2004 election, when the polling margin between candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry could have tipped either way. Framed like a concert film, it captures Moore’s activities as he set out on a campaign trip almost as rigorous and far-reaching as the candidates’ own. He targeted young people as the demographic that could make the most difference, visiting sixty-two cities in forty-five days, and holding large rallies on college campuses. He dubbed it the Slacker Uprising Tour.
This documentary of his journey is made in the feisty spirit of independent media, budgeted at a tiny fraction of Moore’s recent films. It acts like a time machine, returning us to the weeks prior to the November 2, 2004, election, when campuses across the country were exhilarated by a sense of hope and urgency. Moore masterfully foments this energy, speaking to audiences as large as fifteen thousand. He riles up the crowd with his hilarious improvisation, riffing off the day’s headlines or responding to hecklers. He also brings a star-studded lineup of friends â€“ we see appearances and performances by Roseanne Barr, Eddie Vedder, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Earle and Joan Baez. His political opponents certainly take notice, lobbying schools to ban him from campus, sometimes successfully.
Although the election didn’t go Moore’s way, this film is a cure for the hangover that followed, and a reminder that a new political force emerged on those campuses. Young voters turned out in record numbers in 2004, reversing a trend of decline since 1972 (after the voting age lowered to eighteen). The youth vote increased even more in the following mid-term elections. If you want to understand the future of American politics, Captain Mike Across America is a great place to start.