2004, Movies

Fahrenheit 911 (2004, Michael Moore)

So I saw Fahrenheit 911 last night. I thought I was going to come up with something witty to insult it but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Very polemical and full of the usual publicity stunts (and times when you wonder how insincere Moore was being when he was getting some of these people on camera…ah, manipulation!) but it’s important. I guess I think that because it’s sitting on the extreme “left” and, given that, it’s hopefully going to pull some people on the extreme “right” towards the “center.” But I doubt that it will fulfill this role since Moore is essentially preaching to the converted. He himself (and his topic) is too controversial to attract people who might actually change their minds (and change parties) or at least I think so.

Some general problems:

If Moore didn’t harp on the conspiracy aspect of the movie, he might actually convert some more people. Since this is what he’s supposedly trying to do, I think he failed in this respect.

The movie is a little disjointed (to say the least). Not only does he roam randomly around the United States and Iraq (which fits with his style…and that’s not to say his style isn’t effective, it’s often extremely effective) with somewhat of an incoherent narrative, but he also takes on too much. There are three sections to this movie in my opinion, and he should have focused on one. He should have picked the 2000 election, the initial reaction to 911 and the regime’s continued reluctance to conduct a proper investigation or the Iraq war. Yes, they’re all linked. But he only had two hours. And for me, that wasn’t enough time for him to build his case (this is with me making exception for the countless assertions he makes in the film…). He could have picked one problem and alluded briefly to the other two

And the other major problem (there are others) that I see I already mentioned. Moore, in order to make popular and successful (and controversial) films, blurs his facts big time. If he were actually making a documentary (which he wasn’t) he would have backed up his claims a little better (and less stylistically). Filmmakers such as Errol Morris are much better at this sort of thing than Moore. But I understand he’s making a sacrifice in order to try and get his film to a wider audience. Still, let’s not call it a documentary.

Oh, and one more thing. He harps on Bush so much. Seriously, how hard is it to make fun of Bush when you have access to many of his media clips and lots of time to edit them together? And he shouldn’t have spent time inserting thoughts into Bush’s mind right after the attacks. Do we see how Moore reacted to the attacks? No we don’t. My problem is that Bush looks very concerned and really seems lost and indecisive and Moore trys to make us think he was sitting there deviously plotting the scheme that has since been the focus of his tenure, i.e. fighting a war in Iraq to make rich Texans richer.

I have seroius problems with Bush and his cabinet. But I believe that much of what they do they think is right. Before you freak out, I’m not saying it is right. I’m saying most of them probably believe it’s right. Hence the title of this contribution. I’m sure there are those that do have bad intentions, but I believe Bush, in particular, believes in what he is doing. Because he is simple and can’t understand that what his minions tell him is not right.

Anyway, now that I’ve seen it I have to say that I think people should see it but only if they can see it for free. Moore doesn’t need any more money. And it’s definitely going to his head. You can see him getting more and more arrogant. And he’s being absorbed into the elite as we speak. This is funny yet predictable. Not sure if I’m looking forward to his next movie.

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