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Yes, Michael Moore has an agenda. However, every documentary does.
Believe it or not folks, but a documentary does not just show reality,
it also interprets it. Remember the experts that Ken Burns shows in all
of his documentaries? He used them to interpret the facts of the Civil
War, Jazz, and Baseball, among others. The Ken Burn's agenda just
wasn't as controversial as Michael Moore's.
The point of a documentary is for those who see it to start making their own judgments. If you don't agree with Michael Moore's interpretation of the why's of the Iraq war, what is the right interpretation? Can you use the facts or find more facts to come up with a different interpretation? I would call that highly unlikely, but I would like to see the interpretation.
This documentary set out to answer the question "Why is the US in Iraq?" I can tell you I have asked that question a lot and I found no good reason. Michael Moore has done the same thing, just to a larger audience. While you might disagree with his assessment that it was strictly for money, it is hard to support a different view after seeing this movie. You would be hard pressed to find any evidence linking Iraq and Al-Qaeda. Why? Because it doesn't exist. No matter how much Bush railed for a link, even he had to admit it wasn't there.
I guess I would like to see a Republican version of events. I just can't imagine what it would use as evidence. How can you refute the 7 minutes of inactivity of Mr. Bush in the Florida classroom on 9/11? How can you refute the fact that planes were loaded up with Bin Laden relatives on 9/13? How can you call the "coalition of the willing" a coalition if it includes countries that send no troops? These are the facts folks. Michael Moore interpreted them to slam the Bush administration. I was saying the same thing before this movie. However, I reach a small audience since I don't make movies. Thanks to Michael Moore for making this film. Maybe some of the clueless, like Britney Spears, will wake up and start questioning what is going on out there. Because, Ms. Spears, in America, we are allowed to question the president. He isn't God, he is a human being.
So, pro-Iraq war people, give me your interpretation. Why? Why are we there? Why don't we have Osama Bin Laden? Why?
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is an important film, dealing in detail with the
great issues of current American society, with a degree of skepticism
that our newsmedia has proven entirely incapable of exhibiting in the
last decade. Lone gadfly Michael Moore cannot singlehandedly reverse
the effects of a servile corporate media, but he can -- and does --
fling it right back in their faces. Is it any wonder televised
interviews with Moore have been less-than-cordial of late?
It doesn't matter. For a film like this, any publicity is beneficial, and Michael Moore has gone out of his way to thank his conservative detractors for their support.
As a movie, it's a whirlwind tour of corruption and diplomatic deceit at the highest levels of the industrial-political machine, mixed with direct examination of the lives of the "ordinary" people affected by the decisions of the aristocratic few. Much like a roller-coaster ride, it pulls you up the first steep incline with images of the 2000 presidential election followed by the major players in the bush administration getting ready for their performances, and then comes the first plunge: a stomach-wrenching drop into the black screen, with only the sounds of that awful day in September when "everything changed". Fade back in on the people of New York, confused, hurting, seeking their loved ones in the rubble.
From here on, there is no stopping for breath. We observe the flight of Saudi aristocrats who, but for their political connections, might have been held as material witnesses. Moore depicts vividly the links between the Bush family and their Saudi friends, one of whom (Prince Bandar) "earns" the Bush surname. On it goes, fact after fact after irrefutable and disgusting fact. Many of us entered the theatre thinking we knew the score, but seldom has an overview of each tree led to such a complete vision of the forest.
Along the way, we'll see behavior from members of the bush administration that cannot be described as flattering -- but once again, this isn't up for debate. It's the facts, it's what they themselves said. You can argue context, but the footage speaks for itself. And more than anything else, this is where Michael Moore proves he's grown as a director. No longer are his films chock-full of his narrative, he lets the evildoers hoist themselves on their own petards without as much overdubbed commentary. His statement rests in the overall structure of the film, rather than his usual assortment of shame-defying pecadillos and exposes.
Which is not to say that fans of his spirited antics won't have something to watch, as he drives around the capital building in an ice cream truck reading the Patriot act to the representatives who never bothered to read the legislation they passed, or chases after congressmen trying to get them interested in enlisting their children for a tour of duty in Iraq.
Aaah, Iraq. The second half of the film deals with the buildup to and execution of our current adventure in nation building. Iraq is shown with a brief clip from before and a whole lot of after -- with its people confused, hurting, seeking their loved ones in the rubble. Our soldiers are also given plenty of time on-screen, time to describe what it's like, time to proclaim the thrills, dangers, and ennui of life as an occupying army. Far from being unsupportive as claimed by its detractors, this film makes every effort to give the front-liners their say. Wounded soldiers are treated with no less compassion than the other victims in this film. And unlike the corporate newsmedia, Moore's cameras dare to follow the injured to the Walter Reed medical center and into their underfunded rehabilitation.
And it follows the heart of a patriotic woman from Moore's hometown of Flint whose soldier son makes the ultimate sacrifice for Bush's folly.
This is, above all, a sympathetic, patriotic and humanistic movie. Even its main star, George W. Bush, is given a measure of understanding. We understand that he is out of his league, unable to push for the appropriate diplomatic solutions with Saudi Arabia, forever beholden to the corporate interests that purchased his throne, barely capable of coherent thought, and not at all comfortable with the responsibilities of the presidency. He would far rather be golfing, or "lookin' for bugs", or hanging at fundraisers with "the haves and the have-mores"; the presidency is a burden he clearly cannot bear. He almost begs to be removed from office.
This movie has a lot more to say than any reviewer's encapsulation can convey. Ignore the naysayers who, in all likelihood, haven't even seen the film. Understand that the facts are the facts, the presentation is Mr. Moore's, and your opinion is your own.
My opinion: 10/10 -- If there's a documentary/editorial piece that could touch this one, I haven't seen it yet.
Contrary to what so many of us were lead to believe, this movie does
not portray a negative message. George W. Bush and his administration
aren't painted as fascist tyrants at all. They appear to be fools,
power-hungry but fallible. As such, their stranglehold over the
American people isn't concrete. There is hope that things can change,
and that seems to be the overall message in this film.
For every American soldier Moore shows talking about the adrenaline rush they get when they kill, every soldier that appears on screen as a trigger-happy madman, he shows an American soldier dead on the streets of Iraq. The film progresses as a two-hour reenactment of the thoughts that must go through so many soldiers minds, starting out as a soldier going to war, fighting for the safety of their country against enemies that surely want all Americans dead, but all certainty of their righteousness gives way to hesitation, to men and women questioning why they are there fighting a war that has no clear justification.
Moore also uses his various clips and interviews to show how similar the American civilian population are to the Iraqis. His portrayal of the Saddam-era Iraq was certainly biased, but so many people are happy, looking for joy and prosperity, something that isn't as alien as some of us would like to think of the Iraqis as being. One thing that stays in my mind now, the day after watching this film, is one Iraqi woman crying for her lost family members outside her burned and ruined home, screaming to Allah for help. Comparing that woman to Ms. Lipscombe from Flint, Michigan, who lost her son in the war, crying in her interview with Moore and asking for support from Jesus just shows how this war affects all the people caught up in it equally.
That is to say, all of the people, except those running it. Throughout the horrifying clips of war, we see Bush, who appears to be completely out of touch with how his war is affecting those who are fighting it for him. Bush's bumbling makes up the lighter moments in the film, but in retrospect, they are just as frightening as the War itself.
Moore's overall message was that hope exists, but without action on the part of the silent and downtrodden, that hope will vanish. This is a film designed to have people take action, whether it is in the form of taking to the streets in protest, or simply voting Bush out of office in November. It was a powerful message for a powerful film, and as many have said before me, it received standing ovation at the end. But it was that short moment of silence before the applause that really stays with me. That quiet collective gasp where people are trying to digest the weight of Moore's message.
Yes this movie is biased. It is the war and the world through Moore's eyes, but the message is not buried in the bias. I suppose I can sum it up best by saying this film was painfully human. It is human nature to question injustice and hypocrisy, and Moore is there to remind us of that.
To be fair, I should qualify this review by saying that I'm
progressive, a political science professor, anti-war, and a Bush
opponent. So I was hardly watching this film with an objective eye.
That being said (and if you can still trust my review), Michael Moore has done American voters a big service by making this film. It's not without it weaknesses, namely the voice-overs where Moore speculates on Bush's thoughts during those endless blank stares. But for once, Moore has made a film that is woven together with a chronological and thematic logic that ultimately asks one critical question: Is it that the Powers that Be don't understand, or that they simply don't believe in, true democratic principles? While George W. Bush is the primary subject of the film's critiques, the Democrats are not left unscathed. In fact, the first 10 minutes are devoted to a skewering of the Democratically-controlled Senate (including, ironically, former V.P., Senate President, and Presidential contender Al Gore.) Moore's commentary here, as with his past films, revolves around the relationship between money and power, and how that connection degrades democracy and in its most insidious form, leads to the loss of innocent lives. While he holds the Bush family and key administration officials most directly accountable, Moore does not let anyone off the hook. This includes not just the usual suspects (Saudi Arabia), but the Democratic leadership, the Supreme Court, the media, and finally, the American voters. Nothing here is new to anyone who has spent any time perusing the alternative or progressive media in the past four years, but the effect is substantial because Moore has finally shown himself to be a true documentarian, and has woven together a coherent picture of the connections between the players and the events from December 2000 to the present. Setting aside the few moments of Moore's own commentary and some silly interjections of old westerns, the message ultimately relies on the presentation of documents, images, and interviews. The facts are so tight that the worst anyone can say about the veracity of the film is that it is biased, a critique that will carry far less weight when compared to the snippets of Fox news propaganda spliced into the movie.
Moore will be called anti-American, unpatriotic, and probably a fascist. This, of course, is the last resort of a regime and its supporters who have no credible challenge to the facts of the film, only to its message. Ultimately, all audiences, regardless of their political proclivities, should be able to see that Moore is anything but anti-American or anti-democratic. The single biggest piece of the film is devoted to following around the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. She is a patriot and a "true American", by any definition. Her son, and the thousands like him, are honored by Moore. They are portrayed as heroes, but also as victims. They are protectors of American security, but also pawns in a global struggle for power.
By finally asking the right questions (4 years too late??), Moore has shown himself to be not just a solid filmmaker, but a patriot and a defender of the most sacred American liberty- free expression.
Let's admit it, it's nearly impossible to find someone or something
today without a bias towards one thing or another. Fahrenheit 9/11 is
clearly not an exception. I saw this film very recently and was
stunned. Shocked. Michael Moore's work was thorough, concise, and
extraordinary. I was truly impressed. However, there are things that
the public needs to consider after seeing this movie. One- this is not
the whole story.
Unfortunately, I don't know the whole story. Go figure. And two- in order to migrate further from possibly getting tunnel vision, we need to look at and seriously consider the other side. Don't get me wrong, I was enraged by the facts in Fahrenheit 9/11. If all of them are valid, I see no justification for the lies and corruption. But again, this perspective is not the only one and therefor other views should be considered and digested. Am I wrong?
Moore's film strips away the pseudo patriotic facade of the Bush administration with humor and tragedy to create a very compelling but flawed message: Bush used false pretenses to go to war while enriching his friends and letting the common people suffer the fallout. The film moves between powerfully tragic scenes( like the sound of planes flying into the Towers as the screen is blacked out to interviewing a dead soldier's mom) to parody( Bush and Cheney dressed like cowboys in a scene with Bonanza music in the background. Moore raises several provocative questions such as why did Bush sit for seven minutes in an elementary classroom without reacting? Moore suggests answers which imply Bush didn't know what to do. Moore raises questions and suggests answers which right wing critics find abhorrent. His film techniques of showing a triumphant, strutting Bush proclaiming major military operations are over and quickly cutting to a roadside bomb in Iraq exploding, showing Bush as either ignorant, stupid, or mendacious were very powerful. Moore's weakness was in trying to give his audience too many messages in a single film but he comes very close to succeeding. His success was apparent to many right wing radio hosts, who immediately declared him both a liar and antiamerican(or America hating).
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. The biggest help you can give
to your fellow people is to read, watch and know, that's all. can you
do that? watch and decide for yourself, you're human, you have a brain,
why let me and the opposing critics tell you what to do? You will
listen to Americans' testimonies, the soldiers, the everyday people of
US and Iraq. You will see Americans' rights destroyed. You will hear it
from their lips. The movie is not an attack on a country or its people,
only on the person who is benefiting from their loss. It just states
facts that you or me as North Americans wouldn't easily find unless we
went looking for it, which is what we should do, but most don't have
the time. I've watched countless crappy movies and I'm sure you have
too. So spending 2 hours and a few dollars to watch something that
might change the way you think of today's so called democracy, is a
must. You might not agree, but chances are...you will after watching
it. If it wasn't telling the truth it wouldn't have the bush supporters
after to destroy it. And if you notice most people either really like
it or really hate it. and those who really hate it are the ones that
don't really love their country. Because this movie is quite
sympathetic to the soldiers but not to the one who sent them there for
his reasons and not the people's.
it's just 2 hours. watch it. other recommended features: The corporation, Manufacturing consent, Bowling for columbine. all get 10/10 for truth.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is quite possibly the best work of Michael Moore's
career. Moore still has the talent to get people talking while even
working in a bit of comedy into the film.
The plot revolves around the Bush Administration and what has gone on from the years 2000-2004. It explores many interesting aspects of what has gone on while George W. has been in office. The film raises questions and controversy of course but has the facts to back up their claims. What you see will shock and amaze you. You may also cry when faced with the harsh realities the film reveals.
Whether you love it or hate it, Fahrenheit 9/11 will undoubtedly get people talking which was Michael Moore's aim. My personal opinion is it was very well put together and Moore should be admired for his courage to question the way things are being done. Form your own opinion once you have seen it but the movie will impact you no matter your political affiliation.
If anyone allows this LIBERAL PROPAGANDA change their opinions on
current issues then they will only be giving in to what this movie is
supposed to be about.
What it really is is extremely biased, meaning that it leaves out anything positive about President Bush and focuses on only the negative plus it creates a negative spin on all of his public comments.
It is my opinion that the creator of this film would rather us do absolutely nothing after a terrorist attack. You have to wonder if Bill Clinton would have taken care of this unfinished business during his Presidency after the Embassy bombings and Saddams 98' policy on inspectors; would he still have made this movie?
I'd just like to add that its a sad day in America when someone decides to make a profit on anothers tragedy and also helps the enemy.
Before anyone lets this film influence them, they should remember the Spain train bombings and how quickly Spain made a decision to leave Iraq. If we show that we will retreat after a cowardly terrorist attack, then we will show the enemy that his strategy is working and that first attack will be followed by many MOORE!
One last comment: he might focus on prison conditions in enemy detainee camps, but he should also compare the pictures with those from the enemy when they show us how they treat American prisoners!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE was subjective and somewhat inaccurate there
can be no adjectives used to describe FARENHEIT 9/11 . It is polemical
documentary making of the worse sort that will change no ones mind on
anything in which case it deserves to be ignored , but since there
seems to be a cult that think Michael Moore is the greatest thing
that's happened to humanity for two thousand years a few points .
Moore asks if the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis why didn't America invade Suai Arabia instead of Afghanistan ? The same reason Britain didn't invade the Republic of Ireland in the 1970s to defeat the IRA because as the Irish Republic didn't train , arm , or fund the provisional IRA neither does the government of Saudi Arabia train , arm or fund Al Qaeda . In fact Al-Qaeda has vowed to over throw the Saudi government ( Same as during the 1970s the IRA vowed to over throw the Republic's government ) and replace it with an Islamic theocracy . For someone who's supposedly educated Moore should have known this and she should also know that Taliban controlled Afghanistan was indeed being used as a massive terrorist training camp for Islamic terrorists from all over the world , same as he should know that the Taliban and Mujahedeen are two different things and that the " Northern Alliance " who fought the Taliban since 1996 were effectively the Mujahedeen . Moore doesn't state that both the Taliban and Mujahedeen are the same entity but by using choice words like " Afghans " and " Islamic fundamentalists fighting the Russians " that's what he is trying to imply to his unquestioning fan base
Talking of Afghanistan leads us to the main problem with FARENHEIT 9/11 - The internal self contradiction . In 2001 Moore publicly criticised the invasion of Afghanistan saying there was no evidence that Bin Laden was involved and as the documentary states earlier the hi-jackers were Suadis not Afghans . In short Moore is against the invasion of Afghanistan but then spends time telling his audience that because Bush didn't into Afghanistan quick enough and without enough men this allowed Bin Laden to escape . What is Moore trying to say ? That if he was in charge he's had invaded Afghanistan quicker and with more men ? What are you saying Mickey ? There's another similar point with similar illogical points that come across as self contradictions: Moore laments that the anti terrorist laws are repressive then points out a few seconds later that there's not enough state funding to police the border areas of Oregon . Moore's against the anti-terror legislation but he wants more border security to police the anti- terror laws ? Is that what he's saying ? He also makes it quite clear in the same segment that Fresno peace groups don't look like terrorists . Indeed they don't and no one has ever came up with any criteria as to what an average terrorist looks like . Go to the Gaza strip or West Bank and you'll see that the average terrorist looks like the average man , woman ( Or in some extreme cases ) child except that they're skin is a slightly different shade from that of the average Fresno peace group member . Is Moore being latently racist I wonder ?
In keeping with the same irony/self contradiction the best worst bits from the documentary take place in Iraq , a country we're led to believe that was under Saddam a beautiful utopia where children played on the streets , men and woman sat outside street corner cafes with well prepared inexpensive lunches and everyone smiled only to have everything ruined by a war of aggression by America . We're then shown dead Iraqi babies and American wounded screaming in pain . Shocking scenes but one without any context . We're not shown say , the thousands of Kurds who were murdered by Iraqis during the 1980s , or the Kuwaits who were murdered by Saddams forces in 1990 or the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who were killed by Saddams forces during the Gulf war of the 1980s . War is always a sickening business featuring the very worst of human nature - I mean if Michael Moore had a film camera and gone to the Serb held areas of Bosnia in 1995 after NATO air-strikes he could have filmed similar scenes amongst civilian casualties , same as he might have if he showed the aftermath of NATO air-strikes against Serbia in 1999 . I wonder why he didn't ? Was it because the Democrats were in the White House at the time ? You might like to remember that Moore backed Wesley Clark as the Democratic nomination in the race for the White House , the same Wesley Clark who was in charge of the NATO air-strikes in the Balkans that killed civilians
I could say much more on this polemical piece of nonsense like Moore's ridiculous oil pipeline theory but I won't bother since like this fantasy drama from Moore no one will have their minds changed . I will say one thing though , as unlikely as it may seem by reading this review I was against the invasion of Iraq even though I could understand the reasons behind it and Dubya would have stood or fallen via the 2004 American presidential vote on this decision . Moore had nothing to lose by making this documentary and because of his unquestioning fan base everything to gain . If Dubya hadn't invaded Iraq we wouldn't have got FARENHEIT 9/11 so enjoy the money and awards this movie brings you Mickey because people died for it
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