NHDocs: Peter Davis interviews Michael Moore

Michael Moore

Director, Producer and Writer

Michael Francis Moore was born in Flint, Michigan on April 23, 1954, and was raised in its Davison suburb. He is the son of Helen Veronica (Wall), a secretary, and Francis Richard Moore, who worked on an auto assembly line. He has Irish, as well as English and Scottish, ancestry.

Moore studied journalism at the University of Michigan-Flint, and also pursued other hobbies such as gun shooting, for which he even won a competition. Michael began his journalistic career writing for the school newspaper "The Michigan Times," and after dropping out of college briefly worked as editor for "Mother Jones."

He then turned to filmmaking, and to earn the money for the budget of his first film Roger & Me (1989) he ran neighborhood bingo games. The success of this film launched his career as one of America's best-known and most controversial documentarians. He has produced a string of documentary films and TV series predominantly about the same subject: attacks on corrupt politicians and greedy business corporations. He landed his first big hit with Bowling for Columbine (2002) about the bad points of the right to bear arms in America, which earned him an Oscar and a big reputation. He then shook the world with his even bigger hit Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), making fun of President George W. Bush. This is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. Michael is known for having the guts to give his opinion in public, which not many people are courageous enough to do, and for that is respected by many. Read more on IMDb here >

Peter Davis

Director, Producer and Writer

Peter Davis is the author of the novel Girl of My Dreams, about a young screenwriter who comes of age in the 1930s at the intersection of Hollywood, the Depression, and the Communist Party. Girl of My Dreams is being published by Open Road and is available on Amazon. An excerpt appeared in the online literary magazine, The Straddler.

Davis’ nonfiction books include If You Came This Way, which portrays the underclass in America and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; Where Is Nicaragua? about the Sandinistas who overthrew the longest dictatorship in Central America, front page New York Times Book Review and Book of the Month Club Alternate selection; and Hometown, a chronicle of life in a single midwestern town, a Literary Guild Alternate Selection, optioned by Norman Lear for a television series. His nonfiction has been praised by Graham Greene, John Irving, Robert Stone, and William Styron. The author of many magazine articles, he was a contributing editor forEsquire. He covered the war in Iraq for The Nation, to which he is a regular contributor.

Davis was born in California, the son of screenwriter parents Frank Davis and the short story writer and novelist Tess Slesinger. After graduating from Harvard, he worked in New York City as a writer and documentary filmmaker. His first documentaries were for CBS News where he made the landmark investigative film The Selling of the Pentagon, which won the Emmy, Peabody, Writers Guild, George Polk, Ohio State, and Saturday Review awards. His next film was the Vietnam War documentary Hearts and Minds, for which he received the Academy Award and France’s Prix Sadoul. Subsequent films include JACK, a biography of John F. Kennedy, which was nominated for two Emmys and won one, and the Middletown series of six films made in one American community, nominated for ten Emmys and received two; one of the films in the series, Seventeen, won first prize at the Sundance Festival. Read more here >