Saturday, June 26, 2004

Article 19 Movie Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
Fahrenheit 9/11: **************** (16 out of 19)
After seeing it, I conclude that the Cannes jury were mostly raving angry liberals (I approve, of course), no matter what they say. The film-making artistry here (not that it especially called for it) is nothing extraordinarily spectacular, and content-wise it's not especially focused. There's no need for it to be, but I had high expectations after that award. To me, it kind of played like a filmed version of a blog of the last 3 years: frustrated, sarcastic commentary over the news, sometimes devoted to serious things, sometimes not; sometimes investigative in nature, sometimes not; part criticism of the government, part criticism of the media.

It is powerful, moving, and relentless in its pounding of every self-serving angle that ties Bush and Cheney's past, plus corporate America's opportunism, to the present state of the country. At the same time, and more effectively, Moore reminds us of things today's media let us forget too easily: that many innocent Iraqis are being killed and, in a way, terrorized by this war; that our kids in combat are being damaged, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, by the experience; and that the military actively preys on, and depends on, the service of poor Americans, and then we fail to adequately take care of them in return for this gift.

It's a rallying cry for anti-Bush people out there, but don't know how many minds it could change, save the ultra-liberal Nader supporters, who may be persuaded finally that Bush must go. Even then, Moore's criticism did not spare congressional Democrats. Especially white ones. Use this thread for your thoughts on the film. I laughed and cried (literally), so it earns some stripes just for that; still maybe just a bit too scattered to reach any higher toward the coveted 19-star review.

UPDATE: box-office estimates put the film at #1 for Friday, despite being on only a third of the theaters of the bigger Hollywood films. All shows in Nashville were sold out. Smart move, Disney.

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