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.
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
With a worldwide gross of $222,446,882, this was by far the most commercially successful film (documentary or feature) of the decade based on or inspired by the events of 9/11 or the Iraq war. Most other films about the Iraq war (such as In the Valley of Elah (2007), The Hurt Locker (2008) and Green Zone (2010)), performed particularly poorly at the box office. See more »
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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Thank you ... The Lipscomb/Pederson Family ... The Petriken Family ... See more »
When Michael Moore's controversial documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" was released in the summer of 2004, it hit a readiness reaction with a large segment of the American public, people who found themselves increasingly dissatisfied with the direction the country was taking under the Bush administration and who believed that, in this film, someone for the first time was finally giving voice, in a mass media outlet, to their deepest held fears and concerns. Let's face it; no fiction writer could have concocted a more bizarre and surrealistic series of events than what actually occurred in the United States in the first few years of this millennium: a contested Presidential election followed by a terrorist attack of unprecedented proportions followed by a "retaliatory" war aimed at the wrong country and based almost entirely on faulty intelligence. These three incidents converged to create a near "perfect storm" for Moore's documentary. It also didn't hurt, from a commercial point of view, that the film was released in the heat of a bruising Presidential campaign, one in which the stakes never seemed higher for both ends of the political spectrum in the country. The 2004 Presidential election would be a fight to the death, one whose motto was clearly: may the better ideology win.
Well, it has been a year since Moore's film hit the streets and almost as long a time since Bush won reelection for a second term as president. The question to be asked now is, with the passions on both sides cooled down to at least some extent (or are they?), how does "Fahrenheit 9/11" play in a post-election world? The answer is pretty damn well actually, mainly because most of the issues Moore raises are still as valid after the election as they were before (mainly because Bush WAS reelected).
Moore is, of course, an unapologetic liberal and a self-appointed gadfly for the powers-that-be in our society. As such, he aims his sights directly at the Bush administration and all those who support it. He starts off brilliantly by recalling the horrors of 9/11 in a unique way: showing us a black screen while the sounds of the planes crashing into the buildings are heard on the soundtrack. With memories of that horror still lingering in our heads, Moore then proceeds to expose the Bush family's long standing connections with the Saudi royal family, a fact that few people seemed aware of before this film was released. Moore then goes on to criticize the way in which the Bush administration has exploited the "War on Terror" for maximum political effectiveness, culminating in the Patriot Act which, he argues, has had a draconian impact on the civil rights of ordinary American citizens.
But the greatest part of Moore's wrath is saved for the second half of the film, when he confronts what he sees as the wholly unjustifiable war in Iraq. Moore is to be given credit for being one of the first and only people to have shown us actual on-the-ground pictures of the death and carnage that occurred in that country immediately after the initial bombings. Watching these gruesome images, we are immediately struck by just how antiseptic the media's coverage of the war has been here in the United States - a fact that Moore blames not only on the Bush administration but on a press that has allowed itself to become little more than an extension of the rah-rah, war-rallying propaganda machine set up by the government (a government, for instance, that refused to allow any pictures to be taken of flag-draped coffins coming back from the war zone).
The section dealing with the Iraq War is the most emotionally devastating section of the film, mainly because Moore is able to bring it home to us personally through the ordinary individuals who have been most directly affected by it - soldiers on the field, amputees in the hospital and, most heartbreakingly, the mother of a boy killed in a helicopter crash in April, 2003. Her unbearable grief, so nakedly exposed on camera for all to see, becomes an emblem for a war that not only need not have happened, but has, as Moore points out in various ways, been largely bought and paid for with the blood of brave men and women from the lower, underprivileged tier of society. He ends his film by confronting a number of congressmen who voted for the war but who seem reluctant to send their own children over to do the actual fighting. Actually, there is so much going on in this film that it becomes virtually impossible to convey even half of it in a short review such as this one.
As with his previous films, Moore once again proves himself the master of facile irony, pointing out, in darkly humorous fashion, the absurd inconsistencies and blatant hypocrisies that abound in the world around us. These moments are what keep Moore's films from becoming dry-as-dust jeremiads against what he sees as a corrupt system. He makes us laugh even when we know we should be crying, but this is the way a polemicist reaches his audience. And no one understands that better than Michael Moore.
Is the film "fair," "balanced," "nonpartisan" in its approach? Absolutely not. Does it need to be? Well, I can certainly see where people of the opposite political persuasion might find themselves wanting to yell back at the screen or lob a few well chosen projectiles where they feel it would do the most good. And that's fine too. After all, it's a free country and the Bush supporters have every right to launch their own rebuttal against this film if they so choose. I would truly love to see it. But until that time both liberals and conservatives will have to be content with kicking the set every time "Fahrenheit 9/11" is appearing on the screen. The funny thing is that they'll be doing so for entirely different reasons.
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