'Fahrenheit 9/11': Connecting With a Hard Left
|Michael Moore receives the Palme d'Or award for his documentary film 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' at the 57th Cannes Film Festival.|
CANNES, France -- "Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore's most powerful film since "Roger & Me," slices and dices President Bush's presidency into a thousand satirical pieces. It's a wonder the chief executive -- at least, the one portrayed in this movie -- doesn't scatter to the four winds like Texas dust.
Judging by the spirited pandemonium that has greeted this documentary at the Cannes Film Festival, "Fahrenheit 9/11" not only is the film to beat in the competition for the Golden Palm, it also has the makings of a cultural juggernaut -- a film for these troubling times.
With an ironic narrative that takes us from the Florida debacle that decided the 2000 presidential election to the current conflict in Iraq, Moore has almost endless fun at the president's expense. And he frequently uses the president as his own tragicomic scourge -- in other words, hanging him with his own words and facial expressions.
In one of the film's most dramatic moments, we watch the president attending an elementary school class on that ill-fated morning of Sept. 11. An aide whispers to him news of the plane crash into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The look on Bush's face is stunned, as any person's would be. A clock ticks away. The president looks as though he'll never get up from that seat. The minutes tick by.
"Was he wondering if he should have shown up to work more often?" Moore says in voice-over, this comment connecting with glimpses earlier in the movie of Bush's frequent stays in Texas to clear brush and play golf. The president stares at the children's book he's holding. It's called "My Pet Goat."
But there's more to "Fahrenheit 9/11" than partisan ridicule. Just before that scene, we have confronted the unspeakable: When those two planes hit the twin towers in Manhattan. Moore shows only a black screen. We hear the buzzing of the aircraft. We know what's coming. We hear the impact and, a second later, the agonized cries and gasps of the witnesses.
Then comes the second crash. Only then does Moore cut to the faces of those watching. A tearful woman cries out to God to save the souls of those leaping from the windows. Another, devastated, sits down on the sidewalk. We don't see the jumpers. But we feel we do.
What's remarkable here isn't Moore's political animosity or ticklish wit. It's the well-argued, heartfelt power of his persuasion. Even though there are many things here that we have already learned, Moore puts it all together. It's a look back that feels like a new gaze forward. The movie points to social and financial connections between the Bush family and wealthy Saudis, including the royal family, Prince Bandar (the Saudi ambassador to Washington) and the bin Laden family.
It shows startling footage taken by camera crews who were embedded with the American forces in Iraq. And it spends time with such people as Lila Lipscomb, a Michigan mother who changes from patriotic support for the Bush administration to heartbroken despair after she loses a son to the war.
There are so many powerful moments to point to, all for different reasons: the visceral terror of a household in Baghdad, as young American soldiers break in to arrest someone; the candid testimony of American soldiers who express their disgust at the situation there; interviews in Michigan with impoverished African Americans, a social group that has been a breadbasket for U.S. Army recruitment.
To watch this movie yourself is to realize with dawning appreciation that the director of "Bowling for Columbine" has finally learned to put his movie where his mouth is.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (110 minutes) is not rated.
As reported in yesterday's Style section, the movie's current distributor, Walt Disney, has blocked the film's release, citing its controversial nature. In the wake of the movie's uncertain distribution status, the release date -- originally slated for July 4 -- remains unknown. But Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who head Disney-owned Miramax Pictures, are currently in negotiations with Disney to buy the film and release it as individual producers or through a third party. At a news conference Monday, Moore asserted, "This film will be seen before the election."
Source: Washington Post
Topics: Celebrities, George W. Bush, Michael Moore, Movies
Sorry, I'm not down with it. You might think that someone with your intelligence would be trying to figure out a way to peacefully end the suffering of the Palestinians. Israel does not have a clue. I agree with you, Israel is grossly wrong. Loose the anger and people will take you seriously. You would peg me for a jew, wrong again. I like to look a all religions as the same mountain. The concept is basically the same throughout all of them; it's just that they have been perverted by man. It is a terrible thing to see so much death because of a select few. I've seen it. I can tell you this, killing is not the answer. Both sides are to blame, but neither can submit. I think your buddy Mr. Moore would agree.
Question, are you telling me that Saudis doesn't preach hatred in their mosques? Right. They do it in the US. I would assume this because they are Saudi funded. Just one of many examples.
You know what the answer is, the common people should get together and have some tea, a beer, a cup of coffee, or maybe just water and talk about what people talk about. We are all basically the same; we have brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, etc. Or, maybe we have lost them to tragic events and anger or hate is all that fills our hearts now. We have to start somewhere. You like quotes; a thousand mile journey starts with the first step.
It all boils down to what we believe because of what we have been taught. And I believe, you have no idea what kind of person you been exchanging ideas with through this medium. To you, I am just a pig, dog, WASP, christian, or lower life form. Learned ideas.
I'll leave you with this; change comes from within not the external stimuli. I am sorry for the terrible things that have no doubt happened in your life. I truly am. Surely you are not just an academic. Peace
P.S. Why do you think all these countries are different? Hmmmmm.
The entire discussion was not about being a patriot. From the tone in your reply, it would appear to me that you are angry. Mr. Moore is an artist with quite a bit of expression. This is his right and he is probably a christian as well.
Mr. Moore's view, in my opinion, is not completely justified. The point I was simply trying to make is that Bush is doing what he can for the Nations of Islam and the West. There are numerous factors the majority of countries are uninformed.
As for your ill-conceived notions with respect to whom I may be, I am not a christian, I am not led blindly, my people were discriminated against for hundreds of years and I question everything. I know this may be hard to believe, but Hitler is not a good man and the jews are not trying to expand zion to the far reaches of the world. Your statement of "dying breed" is no doubt a threat directed at me and anyone else that thinks like me. The reason the US is so great is they have tolerance for every way of life. They don't send brainwashed young men to kill innocent civilians. Warriors should not be cowards but fight on the battlefield.
I thought this forum was to be devoid of slanderous statements. You are the one that needs to open your mind. By the way, I have done more for Muslim world than you could ever imagine. Peace
The greatest virtue for humanity is to stand up against an unjust ruler!Don't you think it's time to reflect how Prophet Moses p.b.u.h stood up against the Pharoah or how Prophet Jesus p.b.u.h stoop up against the Scribes and Pharisees?Oh!Thou with knowledge and virtue reflect?
p.b.u.h-God's peace & blessings be upon him!
With all due respect, brother, I couldn't disagree more with your analysis that the U.S. has been the greatest violator of human rights in the last two hundred years. As a student of history, I would ask you to review your world history text on the Stalin era, the Chinese Communist Revolution, the Baathist regimes, the killing fields of Cambodia and Vietnam, the rape and torture of both Hindus and Muslims with Britain's establishment of India and Pakistan, Britain and France's carving up of the Middle East and Africa after WWI, and finally, Britain's fateful decision to establish the land of Israel at the expense of the Palestineans. Brother, truly you are an intellectual, but to place the U.S. in the highest category of human rights abusers not only is unrealistic but unfair and irresponsible. Just recently, I read a report that Muslims in Britain are ready to riot because of the poor living conditions and the deep sense of isoloation. No where in the U.S. have Muslims even fathomed doing such a thing--sorry the Nation of Islam doesn't count as real Islam. Certainly, you have every right to provide your point of view about the United States, but what bothers me is that too many Muslims assume that your leftist viewpoint is the only truth when it comes to uplifting the condition of Muslims today. To me, not only is this trend dangerous but unhelpful for many of us Muslims who are making strides in our countries on a daily basis. We can shout all we want to make the U.S. change its foreign policy--which we should--but until more Muslims hunker down and actually try to act as Muslims, then, honestly, we shouldn't complain when we see that nothing has changed for ourselves--read the verse that succintly says that Allah does not change the condition of a people until we first change ourselves. That's where we need to begin as Muslims. Unfortunately, too many of us are involved in the blame game.
Who should do something?
Go east, where some of the largest concentrations of wealth are spent on the preaching of hatred. All the while, women are owned and disrespected, children are searching for food, and all lack the ability to speak their mind. This is the story for countless countries, some civilized and some not so civilized. Do we hear about these things? Unfortunately, the one chosen directly impacts the western world. Does that mean we should not help the common people that are suffering? NO! Oil or no oil, if the US is attempting to stabilize that particular region for it's own gain and help the people, is this not what we ought to do?
Who only speaks and commits to no action?
The majority of the issues addressed in the media are unfortunately misguided, centering on negative aspects of the US and its leadership. Who will quit, who can do a better job, who thinks peace is forged by doing nothing?
Nothing is fixed by ignoring it. Try something. Commit to something, don't just talk about it. The question is asked again, who is doing something? Does the answer need to be given?
We all are bound by our conscience to pay esteem and respect to Mr. Moore. He deserves the best awards that exist throughout the world, not only the ones offered at the Cannes festival. I was truly disappointed that the movie could not be played in our homeland, the USA. Our democracy is being gnawed at its very heart by many special interests. We should be honored by the true citizens like Mr. Moore who bring the truth out and lay it on the table for all to see. I am afraid that the Bush administration is undermining the strength of our nation, land, and Constitution. I thought he was doing an honorable job all along, but now I am very deeply disturbed as many ought to be. It is time for a dramatic change. We have to have a different president if we are to save our nation if there is anything left to save.
This movie is a gift horse for those seeking a better tomorrow, a tomorrow in which truth and justice are more pravalent.
I hope that Muslim community Imams and cultural leaders would organize group visits to cinemas and watch this insightful and potentially election results/world opinions changing move.