Documentarians always have their own points of view, but Michael Moore takes what he needs to convince his audience of his political opinion. Moore produced this film with the explicit goal to prohibit the reelection of George Bush. The Movie is filled with controversy. As footage he used many cuts of tv-news and ‚personal‘ interviews made by himself with a big portion of dry sarcasm.
The title of the film refers to Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, a view of the future United States, drawing an analogy between the burning temperature of paper and the date of the September 11 attacks.
Moore himself appears less in this film than he has in his previous documentaries, leaving most of the talking to politicians, parents, soldiers, experts and Americans.
In the beginning Moore shows his opinion about the voter fraud in Florida in 2000. After that he shows how Bush spends a big part of his time - with holidays. Also his general disinterest in his position is well documented. Sentence like „A dictatorship would be much easier then a democracy“ underline the pictures Moore’s showing us.
It can be supposed that the scene where Bush obviously doesn’t know what to do after his Country was attacked will be memorized in many peoples brain for a long time. And yes, Bush decided to continue with reading a book to children.
9/11: After this brutal and world-changing event the USA agreed on a general aircraft grounding. Apart from this, the Osama Bin Laden-clan was able to got a home-flight. I just thought: What great connection to the most important people they need to have?!
Moore tells that the Saudis invest $860 Mrd. and $1,4 Mrd. in the Bush Family.
In one scene, Bush addresses supporters at a fundraiser:
„This is an impressive crowd - the haves … and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.“ Next Scene he is in the middle of his golf practice when he gives an ‚important’ news conference „I call all nations to do everything the can to stop these terrorist killers,“ he says. „Now watch this drive.“ He then proceeds and hits the golf ball.
Keyword „Golf“. Oil Interests in the Golf region and a Pipeline in Afghanistan seem to be the reason for the enormous efforts of the US troops. After the Attack many indications leads to Afghanistan and also to the senior Bush friends to Arabia, but the administration lay a trace to Saddam Hussein the arch enemy of George Herbert Walker Bush. Thats the way how Moore shows the Story to the audience.
Further, the film shows graphic footage of corpses of Us soldiers being burnt, footage of civilian suffering and highly moving testimony from bereaved parents of US servicemen. To defense and of course supervising the US-residents the administration developed the „Patriot Act“. Moore interviews a congress-man and finally he gave an answer to Michael Moors question: „nobody read that paper…“ Michael Moore decide to read the whole paper in an Ice-Cream truck in front of the buildings.
The film finds enormous power in the story of Lila Lipscomb, a resident of Moores’s hometown of Flint, Michigan. Most of her Family been fighting for the US Army, such as her son was fighting in Iraq. When she was first interviewed, she was a big defender of the war and Bush’s policies. She declaims herself as ultra-patriotic. But then her son gets killed. After his death, she goes through a path of poignant and dolefulness. In the end she becomes anti-bush and anti-war. This moral change of this woman is purposive chosen by Moore and concentrate his view of the things.
In my opinion Fahrenheit 9/11 can not be classified as a documentary in the classic vein. A docu should try to be neutral, what you cant say from this film. The viewer is forced to split the interpretation and ideas of Moore from the shown facts to get an realistic general view. Who disclaim for that will be manipulated alike the defendant mass-media shown in the movie.
All in All this film has an extremely powerful message and it won a Palm d’or in Cannes.
by Marc R.