It’s hard to believe Michael Moore premiered his surprise documentary “Michael Moore In TrumpLand” at New York City’s IFC Theater on Tuesday night, considering that two weeks ago, he hadn’t even begun shooting.
A 73-minute live performance film of Moore doing a one-man show about the upcoming presidential election, the concept was conceived over the course of the past year, but took just two days to shoot. Funded by IMG and shot in Wilmington, Ohio on October 6 and 7, the movie was already being edited before almost anyone knew Moore had a project in the works.
On Sunday, a rough cut of the film looked good enough that Moore said he decided on the spot to ask IFC Center General Manager John Vanco if he could host a free premiere event at the theater. “It’s been a crazy couple days,” Vanco told the audience Tuesday night. “I learned a couple hours earlier than the rest of you that this film existed.”
“Michael Moore In TrumpLand” will have a one-week run at IFC starting Wednesday and another one-week run in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino. The film has no distributor yet, but Moore said during a Q&A that roughly two dozen theaters around the country are asking to play the movie. He’s also in the process of setting up online distribution as soon as possible.
“This is all coming together in a very rapid-fire way,” Moore said. “”Hopefully we’ll have an announcement on that in the next 24 to 36 hours.” In the movie, Moore treats an audience of liberals, conservatives and the undecided to a routine that is part stand-up comedy, part sincere plea to Americans for why they should vote for Hillary Clinton. Moore refers to Wilmington as “TrumpLand” due to the fact that Trump voters outnumber Hillary voters four to one in the area.
Rather than bashing Trump in his live performance, Moore focuses on the many virtues that make Hillary Clinton the answer to many of America’s problems. “I just thought, I’m going to do something here and give people positive reasons to think about voting for her,” Moore said. “What the country doesn’t need is to be told that Trump is crazy, dangerous, a psychopath and sociopath. He has written and produced that movie, and it appears daily.”
Asked by an audience member what he thinks a Trump victory would mean for the country, Moore responded that he didn’t think he could “imagine what that shit show would look like.”
Though both the screening and Q&A were met with seemingly constant applause and laughter, Moore frequently injected the room with a more serious tone by proclaiming that Trump still has a good chance of winning the election. Despite virtually every poll suggesting Clinton has a significant lead nationwide, Moore said that people underestimate how Trump’s “rabid” base could turn out to vote in significantly larger numbers than Clinton supporters.
“I am here to fight that,” he said. “This is aimed at the depressed Hillary voter, or the non-voter or the third-part voter. I’ll do my part and try to get this in front of millions of people over the next three weeks.”