Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Following up on 'Bowling for Columbine', film-maker Michael Moore provides deep and though-provoking insights on the American security system, the level of paranoia, fear, uncertainty, false values and patriotism, which all combined together to set a stage for George W. Bush to launch a war on Iraq instead of focusing on getting the real culprit(s) behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This documentary also focuses on how some Saudis were safely and secretly flown out of America while planes were ostensibly grounded after the attacks. Archived film footage, candid interviews with politicians, and an overall waste of public funds for a war that was initiated on false pretension to wit: a weapon of mass distraction - to take the focus away from the real enemy and get Americans glued to their TV sets to watch innocent Iraqis and Afghans getting killed. And a war that would eventually alienate the U.S.A. and it's citizens from almost every country on Earth. Written by
Was it all just a dream?
God bless you, Florida! Thank you!
Did the last four years not really happen? Look, there's Ben Affleck. He's often in my dreams. And the Taxi Driver guy. He was there too. And little Stevie Wonder, he seemed so happy... like, like a miracle had taken place. Was it a dream? Or was it real?
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All credited actors, including Michael Moore, are identified by the narrator or a graphic. See more »
It is very easy to point and criticize. It is far easier to do when there is no-one around to counter your criticism. Fahrenheit 911 is a finger pointing exercise that I simply did not enjoy. It is not bad just the opposite. It is skilfully made, funny and very well organized. I strongly encourage everyone to see it and judge for themselves. But it is culpable and hypocritical, and its approach to its own content so questionable, that it must be dismissed as nothing more than entertainment.
I did not hate the film. I laughed on a number of occasions. Moore's ability to match a song with a newsreel clip to underline his point (the best being the use of `The Greatest American Hero' theme), his sarcastic, easy to listen to narration is excellent. It is not a quality film . It is primarily archived newsreel footage strung together with voiceover work and vintage Moore interviews. It is very well assembled, but as a documentary, it fails. Mr. Moore grandstanded at the Oscars two years back that he is a film maker that lives in the world of non-fiction. I heartily disagree.
The factual content is laughable. Most notably, Moore asks someone what the total wealth held by Saudis in the USA is. The man answers `I have heard it is as high as $840 billion dollars'. That is hardly a statement of fact backed up by anything. Good enough for Moore though. Next scene, he is speaking of the `trillion dollars' held by Saudis in the US (what's $140Billion between friends), then proceeds to say that they own 7% of the United States. One piece of conjecture stretched to the extreme.
The movie is racist. Yes, racist. As he decries Bush's ties with the Saudis, he flashes a seemingly endless parade of photos of American shaking hands with Arabs, as if anyone and everyone who has ever met one is of questionable character. And the shots he cuts to when he mentioning the countries in the `Coalition of the Willing' are offensive, showing Vikings when he mentions Iceland and other stereotypical photos of countries like Cost Rico and Morocco, and someone smoking hash when he mentions the Netherlands.
The movie is manipulative beyond any measure I have seen. Two examples here. Moore is willing to completely demonize Saudi Arabia, talking of their human rights violations and even showing a public beheading performed by their government. Pre-war Iraq is shown as some kind of Utopia, with people gleefully shopping in markets, children playing and most nauseatingly, a young boy flying a kite up the bank of a river.
Even worse than that however is Lila Lipscombe. She is from Moore's hometown of Flint Michigan and is interviewed extensively in the middle part of the movie, telling Moore how proud she is that her children enlisted in the army, how it is a duty and a privilege, on and on and on. Later on, we find out her son was tragically killed in a Black Hawk accident, and Lila now curses Bush, the government, the Whitehouse and the war. The hypocrisy and manipulation of those scenes made me squirm out of my seat. I am a parent and my heart breaks for this woman losing her son. But they way it is presented, simply for effect, is offensive. It also smacks horribly of Moore's famous editing of the facts for effect.
Many times in this film, people mention that the terror threat just does not exist. That Saddam was not a threat. That Iraq had never killed an American (Gulf War?). That no weapons exist in Iraq. What world are these people living in? Why is never mentioned that Iraq was run a brutal and murderous regime and routinely killed its own people, that used WMDs against its own people, that killed anyone who opposed the government, that Saddam was a multi-billionaire in an impoverished country? Moore could have balanced his approach like this, and still not lost it. I believe he could have strengthened his film by showing Iraq for what it was, and not creating a fictional account of life there.
The greatest point Moore makes is in the interview with a retired FBI agent, who questions the removal of 250 or so Arab citizens from the US post 9/11, by air, when all air traffic in the US had been grounded. They should have been questioned by FBI, especially those who are related to Bin Laden directly. Also, Moore does an excellent job of outlining the Bush insiders and their ties to the oil industry.
There may be a great film to be made about the Bush administration. This is not it.
The worst thing about this movie for me, though was the pall of hypocrisy that hung over it. As Moore decries the war profiteers, he becomes one. As he accuses the US government of exploiting the poor and marginalized of the US for profit, he does the same. As Fahrenheit 911 approaches $100,000,000 in domestic receipts, I sat in the theatre thinking that Moore himself is as big a war profiteer as any of his targets.
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