She might be known worldwide as the Material Girl, but There's more than a little of the small - town Michigan girl left in Madonna.
The pop superstar arrived in this northern Michigan resort town Saturday to introduce her documentary, "I Am Because We Are," a highlight of the Traverse City Film Festival. The event was co - founded by filmmaker, author and fellow Michigan native Michael Moore.
Hundreds of fans cheered from behind barricades as Madonna, wearing a black dress, high heels and sunglasses, stepped out of a black sport utility vehicle that pulled up in front of the State Theatre. She hugged a waiting Moore, who sported an orange baseball cap, and posed for photos with him.
Madonna and Moore shared the stage at the theater before a screening of the movie, which deals with the orphans of Malawi, the African nation where she and husband Guy Ritchie adopted a son.
"It's great bringing my movie to a place that I feel familiar," Madonna told the audience. "Not like the Cannes Film Festival, where nobody's speaking English, or the Tribeca Film Festival, where no one sits down.
"There's something poetic about coming back to the place where I used to come for holidays - camping trips with my dad and stepmother and my very large family," said the 49 - year - old singer, born to the southeast in Bay City and raised in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills.
Madonna was accompanied by her 11 - year - old daughter, Lourdes, and the film's director, Nathan Rissman.
Moore, who won an Oscar for his 2002 documentary "Bowling for Columbine," said he was humbled to be able to call Madonna a friend.
"She has such an incredible heart and such a generous spirit," he said. "She does so much out of the glare of the lights to make the world a better place."
Madonna had praise of her own for Moore, 54, a Flint - area native who has a home near Traverse City.
"There aren't a lot of role models for us in the world, or people we can look up to," she said. "People who are not afraid to stick their neck out, people who are not afraid to stand up for things and be unpopular, to go against the grain, think outside the box.
"And we need, and I need, Michael Moore in my life."