Sunday, September 28, 2008


"Ambush cinema"


"Michael Moore"




I found much to like and much to dislike in Bill Maher's attempt to shine a light on the ridiculousness of organized religion. The comparisons that Maher draws between the story of Jesus and the story of Horus are compelling. But his choices of interview subjects are transparently selected from the lunatic fringe.

His insights are simultaneously cutting, hilarious and off-putting. His interview tactics are in the genre of Michael Moore's ambush cinema and he was clearly less than forthright with a number of his victims.

Maher states that he's on one corner selling doubt while the people whom he's interviewing are on the opposite corner selling certainty. For most of the movie, this does appear to be the case. Only as the movie builds to its conclusion is Maher's hypocrisy truly in evidence. He's not peddling doubt but his own brand of certainty. As the images become more apocalyptic, Maher becomes more strident and nothing more than reminiscent of a fire and brimstone preacher.

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