Its subject is the run-up to the U.S. presidential election of 2004, when filmmaker Michael Moore staged anti-George W. Bush rallies in a last-ditch attempt to galvanize a massive youth turnout for Democratic Party candidate John Kerry.
But Slacker Uprising, Moore's latest full-length feature, is clearly targeting November's presidential race.
And to make sure as many people as possible get the message, Moore released the 98-minute documentary free of charge yesterday on the Internet (www.slackeruprising.com) to U.S. and Canadian citizens, claiming it's a gift to his fans.
The free download of the film, an earlier version of which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, will run for three weeks. It can be downloaded in other countries for $9.95.
Slacker Uprising chronicles Moore's efforts to bolster Kerry's ailing campaign in a 45-day U.S. tour of 62 cities in 20 "battleground" states, mostly in college arenas, during which he is seen encouraging self-confessed non-voters " even by offering them packages of Ramen noodles and clean underwear " to get out to the polls.
With the help of student-friendly musicians R.E.M. (they don't perform in the film), Eddie Vedder, Steve Earle, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and veteran protest singer Joan Baez (they do perform), as well as comedian Roseanne Barr and actor Viggo Mortensen.
Moore comes across as a pugnacious crusader storming the barricades of youthful indifference and college complacency.
As Republican opposition mounts " Moore is threatened with bribery charges over the underwear and noodles, and businessmen in Utah and California offer student organizers cash gifts of $25,000 and $100,000 respectively to cancel their events " the film takes a deceptively comic narrative turn.
When Bush supporters mount protests outside his rallies or disrupt Moore's speeches by saying the rosary or chanting "four more years!" he responds alternatively with humour and venom, reminding some detractors that they won't be excluded in a Democratic America, challening the religious contingent by asking: "Who would Jesus bomb?"
Though the filmmaker's efforts didn't turn the tide, Moore proudly points that Bush's win was the smallest margin in history, and that 54 of the 62 cities his juggernaut visited voted for Kerry.
He also takes credit for the largest turnout of 18- to 29-year-olds ever " 21 million.
His final message: "Next time (the Republicans) won't be so lucky."
In a statement released yesterday, Moore said neither he nor the stakeholders in Slacker Uprising " including the Weinstein Co. studio and digital distributors Brave New Films " will make any money from the $2 million film.
"The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November," Moore said.
I think Lou is lookin' fer ya, Shooter my boy...
(go polish your gun while the adults speak, please.)
Isn't it about time for you to die with your boots on old acid head hippy? No threat, just a timely suggestion.