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In the most provocative film of the year, Academy Award(r)-winner Michael Moore (2002, Best Documentary, Bowling for Columbine) presents a searing examination of the role played by money and oil in thewake of the tragic events of 9/11. Moore blends captivating and thought-provoking footage with revealing interviews, while balancing it all with his own brand of humor and satire.
The supplemental features of Fahrenheit 9/11 offer almost an hour and a half of further manna for Michael Moore's supporters and ammunition for his critics, including appearances by two of the most memorable figures in the film, Michigan mother Lila Lipscomb and Marine corporal Abdul Henderson. "The Release of Fahrenheit 9/11" (11 minutes) collects reactions to the film from celebrities, political leaders, and Quentin Tarantino and Tilda Swinton of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival jury (but no film critics). Lipscomb gives a moving speech at the film's Washington, D.C. premiere (4 minutes), and in an 18-minute sequence, an embedded Swedish journalist recounts his experiences, accompanied by footage of U.S. soldiers raiding an Iraqi home. This provides the context for the scene in the main film in which a soldier gets his picture taken with a bound and hooded Iraqi, which is chillingly similar to the infamous pictures from Abu Ghraib prison. The second part of the DVD features consists of seven new or extended scenes (about 50 minutes total), including more footage of Iraq before the invasion; protesters outside Abu Ghraib and former prisoners showing their injuries; more thoughts from Cpl. Abdul Henderson; National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice trying to squirm off the hook in front of the 9/11 Commission; and President Bush going through the motions of a press appearance after he appeared before the same commission. --David Horiuchi
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As usual, Moore injects a lot of his personal emotions... he is a master at this. There is speculation which appears a bit wild at times, particularly in the first half of the film. However, the basic information is there and the questions arise from it.
Moore asks tough questions about why Saudi nationals were allowed to leave the U.S. during the days immediately following 9-11, why people aren't more concerned about the close ties between the Bush family and the Saudis, why we let Bin Lauden get such a big head start on us before we went into Afghanistan, why we really went to Iraq, etc. ad nauseum. For the most part, he steers clear of using fallacies as he presents his questions and arguments; he mainly uses real information as a springboard.
I would imagine most avid left-wingers will at least try to see the movie. Most right-wingers will probably not bother, preferring to wish the film would go away. After all, it represents an attempt to upset the status quo, and it is a radically different way of looking at things than what they are taught to think by conservative TV and radio programming. My hope is that many "undecided" voters will see it and find themselves as horrified as I was at how Orwellian the Bush neoconservatives are made out to be; if the Bushies keep hammering away at us, we may well soon believe that "War is peace".
Inquiring minds want to know, and Moore provides plenty of fodder for thought. This film may help us realize how repugnant politicians are in general... and particularly the delusional little cabal currently running (ruining) the United States of America.
There are some out there who hate free speech and would like to suppress it in order that only one narrow set of views is available to Americans. Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity immediately come to mind. People of that ilk must be squirming in their seats every time they hear about Michael Moore or about the success of this movie. As they plot various ways to suppress the voices of dissent, we should be thankful they are being made uncomfortable. These people seem to want a one-party system in America. I believe they are out of touch with what a majority of Americans feel about this country.
Michael Moore has referred to this film as a "comedy". I certainly wouldn't call it that, as I found the laughs to be few and far between, especially in the second half of the movie. I would place this in the "horror" category. The Iraq footage is terrifying, and it is not for the faint of heart. The interviews with the troops left me feeling empty. Some of them expressed a sort of joy in killing Iraqis, including citizens. I think it's likely that only a handful of our troops actually feel the same as those depicted in the film, but when I see their attitudes and behaviors displayed on the movie screen and pair it with the images of Iraqi prisoner treatment, I believe these troops aren't to blame for their actions. Problem behaviors such as these begin at the top, through macho/arrogant leadership and that leaderships' misguided attitude toward the rest of the world... it seems like it's "God Bless America and God Damn All The Others."
There is nothing comedic about that. We simply can't command the respect of the rest of the world, we need to earn it. At this point, thanks to our current administration, we need to earn that respect back. They all loved us after the September 11 attacks, now many of them hate us. How did that happen so fast? Moore points out these things and explores them... and to his credit, he isn't shown much throughout the movie. He is mostly there as a voice-over. Considering how self-aggrandizing he tends to be, I found this to make the film that much more watchable.
If you disagree with what Moore says in "Fahrenheit 9-11", I hope you have at least bothered to see the film. If you refuse to go see it, then maybe it is because you are afraid of being exposed to things that run counter to your belief systems. Moore's film should horrify true left-wing believers and hardcore conservatives alike... hopefully enough that a wholesale change will come about at election time.
First half of the film: 2.5 stars. Second half: 5 stars. Overall rating: 4
The fact that Michael Moore can make a film this compelling and exposing makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs to question why we let this Bush administration do these things. This movie was not a total shock to me, as I must admit that I already agreed with Moore long before I saw it, but this movie made me so angry and upset at the current state of America. It filled me with such a sense of urgency which has stayed with me for months and months afterward. Everyone in America should sit down and watch this movie if they haven't.
I'll bet a lot of the people who posted negative reviews either never took the time to watch this movie or turned it off early just because they initially didn't agree with it. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. Whether you love Bush or hate him, watch this movie. Use your head and think about it. If you want to argue with Moore's points, and if you think he's wrong, then your right as an American is to never watch the movie again and vote however you want in November. Just don't blindly dismiss the movie as useless propaganda just because it's opinion is different than yours. And don't dare call it unamerican. While he disagrees with the cause of the fighting, Moore makes a point to support the US soldiers in Iraq, and if you watch the whole movie you'll see that. In fact, Moore wants the troops out of harm's way because he believes the cause they are fighting for and dying for is not worth the lives of these young men and women. What can be more American and more Democratic than questioning your leaders and speaking out when you see something that you believe is wrong?
Watch this movie with an open mind and it will open your eyes. You don't have to agree with Moore's views, but it's really hard not to after seeing this movie. Go USA, but please make love and peace, not war.