Filmmaker Michael Moore was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while Won’t You Be My Neighbor won the Best Documentary and Best Director categories at the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, held last night at BRIC in Brooklyn.
Robert De Niro presented the award to Moore right before rushing off to appear on SNL, calling him “a true, true American hero … one of the greatest truth- tellers in this country right now.”
Moore used his acceptance speech to finish his 2003 Oscar speech for Bowling for Columbine. At that ceremony, he had been pulled off the stage and was not able to finish his planned speech.
“Fifteen years later now tonight, we are not only still at war, but we have a president who has declared war on our democracy and war on us,” Moore said. “Keep picking up those cameras, everyone here in this room, because the people gathered here tonight, you may be America’s last line of defense and hopefully the first line of rebuilding this country that he is currently destroying.
“I encourage anyone watching at home tonight in the Gary, Indianas of America, in the Camden, New Jerseys, in the San Ysidros, in the East St. Louises and, yes, the Flints and Detroits and the Pontiacs and the Dearborns to pick up a camera and fight the power, make your voice heard, and stop this senseless war.”
Morgan Neville won the Best Documentary and Best Director award for his Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, said he was “just so happy people have responded so well to it and let’s hope all of us together can bring some more positivity and civility and understanding and truth into the world.”
Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the directors of RBG, the winner for Best Political Documentary, started off their acceptance speech with a medical update about Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
“I’d like to interrupt this speech with a medical report. As many of you know, Justice Ginsburg fractured three ribs a few days ago, and I hope you also know that she is out of the hospital and we can report from her family that she is feeling better and eating voraciously.”