Fahrenheit 9/11, A Review

I finally got away and went to see a matinee showing of Michael Moore’s new movie, Fahrenheit 9/11. Even at 4:00 PM on a weekday, the suburbia theatre I went to was half full of people. About 40% of the attendees were older people of retired age and the rest were college students, though I spotted a few people playing hookey from work.

This film, I believe has the potential to energize those Americans who have never before participated in politics. Despite the obvious partisan hubris and damning words and images that smash the Bush administration’s illusion of Iraq (fed to Americans through their TVs) this movie rips open the business relationships between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family and asks the questions that the mass media has ignored. After seeing this movie, how can any truly democratic American ever trust George W. Bush or anyone in his administration again?

Like most of the other reviews I have read, I left the theatre with a lot of the same complaints and praises. The first being that Moore feeds you so much information that there is no time to process it before you’re inundated with another shocking fact or image. More time needed to be spent on the motives of why Bush took us to war in Iraq and why American soldiers are dying for a false cause. It would have been nice to see an explanation of how the mass media was used to sell the American public on the manufactured connections between 9/11 and Hussein. My second complaint is the choppiness of the movie. There’s very little to tie one set of images to another and the viewer often gets confused because the movie does not even follow a structured timeline. My last complaint is that there was no time spent on examining how the Iraqi people are responding to the American military presence. Other than seeing dead babies in the back of a pickup and lots of war carnage, there were no interviews with the Iraqi people. The imagery seemed to be thrown in for shock value alone — which is useful, but not as useful as educating the viewer by showing multiple perspectives of the same issue.

As a political tool, this movie is very powerful but as an informative documentary, it fails to educate properly and requires more than one viewing to take in all the information and process it. I’m glad that Moore made this film because we’d be worse off without it. It should be required viewing for all Americans who get their news and information from TV.

Following the movie, I attended a MoveOn house party of about 30 people, where Moore did a nationwide telephone call asking people to help with MoveOn’s voter regiatration drive.

Now, I need to figure out what day this week I can go back and see Fahrenheit 9/11 a second time to pick up all the information I missed in the first viewing.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 28, 2004 10:41 PM

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