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OREM - Moviegoers' verdict Thursday on Steven Greenstreet's "This Divided State" was near-unanimous - a big thumbs up.
As the closing credits rolled on the documentary about Michael Moore's controversial visit to Utah Valley State College, the 400-plus crowd packing the Orem school's Ragan Theater responded with a standing ovation.
"It was a powerful testament of the need for diversity and diverse political voices," Provo resident Jason Smith said about the 92-minute film.
Greenstreet, a former Brigham Young University student who maxed out two credit cards to make the movie, was ecstatic about the turnout for the movie's premiere.
"This is a bit overwhelming," said Greenstreet, who worked with a cast of 20 - most of them UVSC students - to make the flick.
At least one of the film's stars, though, did not have stars in his eyes after the movie's debut. Orem investor Kay Anderson, who led the fight to keep the "Fahrenheit 9/11" director from speaking at UVSC and wanted out of Greenstreet's film, panned the movie.
"He accomplished what he said he was going to do," Anderson said. "He made everyone look stupid."
Anderson signed a release with Greenstreet last fall, giving the 25-year-old the green light to shoot extensive footage of him and his wife, Janae, during the Moore flap.
But the Orem resident later nixed his approval upon learning Greenstreet had teamed up with UVSC Communications Department Chair Phil Gordon, who Anderson accuses of having a liberal bias.
Anderson and other detractors of "This Divided State," though were in the minority at its debut. Greenstreet clearly was among friends. Most in attendance at the special screening were largely fans of the film.
"It showed how divided [Utah] County became when it didn't need to be," said UVSC junior Patrick Kelly.
Indeed, that was the movie's intended message. Greenstreet's premise is that political conversation nowadays is more nasty than nice. Film footage of the bickering between heated fans and foes of Moore was aimed to underscore that point.
Greenstreet has high hopes his movie will help residents in red and blue states open a political dialogue free of name-calling, threats and other forms of strife.
"We are red, blue and whatever," he said. "But we are all under the same flag."
The Baltimore, Md., native is currently negotiating with two major distributors to take the documentary nationwide. He would like the movie to be shown on college campuses.