Fahrenheit 911

Mikey 6 comments
Fahrenheit 911

Michael Moore's latest documentary has been well received by the public and critically acclaimed by the film industry, and with good reason. Fahrenheit 911 (from this point on referred to as F911) is not only the highest grossing documentary of all time, but also a likely contributor to the demise of the Bush administration this November. In this brief review I will attempt to interpret what I saw on the big screen 2 nights ago, and hopefully it will also serve the purpose of preparing you for the shocking imagery which caught me totally of guard. I will also occasionally switch to the 1st person as I feel it the only way to really express certain elements. Consider this a warning.

The hype surrounding Moore's latest film is impossible to ignore. Choosing this time to stand behind the camera and less in front of, F911 opens by revisiting the 'Florida' debacle, in which GW stole the election. More information on this can be found in Moore's book 'Dude, where my country' (I highly recommend it).

'Was it all a dream?' Moore asks as he cleverly shows footage of the election campaign as if it were a dream sequence - but as we all know, it was no dream. Progressing from there, we are privy to many facts that have been accessible to the public for a long time but irresponsible media companies choose to ignore. Facts such as the incredible amount of time GW spent on Vacation during his first year in office (around half of the year) and of course his famous reaction to being told that the country was under attack (while sitting in a classroom full of elementary students), in which he sat silently for nearly 7 minutes before reacting.

Moore has got his hands on some amazing footage never before seen. One in particular stands out as most disturbing. We see GW Bush, being made up my make-up artists moments before he is about to announce that he will be sending the country into a state of war with Iraq. But we do not see a man who is taking the the severity of the situation seriously at all, as he messes around with goofy body language and eye contact with someone off camera. He is about to send potentially thousands of people to thier deaths (knowing the consequences of war) and he is acting like it is no big deal?

Further into the film, we revisit the horrifying moments of September 11. But instead of showing the towers collapsing, Moore prefers to let the sounds and screams of chaos during those panic stricken moments haunt us with no visual but a black screen.

F911 reveals disturbing facts pertaining to the relationships between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family. In particular, Bin Laden's brother Salem invested in GW's start-up oil company, which he eventually drove into the ground. Moore asks the question: 'Why are the Saudi's' who have more oil than anyone on the entire planet, investing millions of dollars into a small American start-up oil company?' And it is a valid question. But being the son of a President who is a long time family friend of the Bin Laden family can get you many things you do might not otherwise deserve.

Warning: Graphic descriptive ahead.

One particular scene is still etched in my mind and I doubt it will go away any time soon. The strongest and inarguably the most disturbing part of the film is when Moore takes us into the combat zone in Iraq. In typical Michael Moore fashion, this footage has been left un-tampered, and not sweetened up to give the war a positive spin as certain irresponsible high profile media companies have done. We are all too used to seeing Allie troops bombing and shooting faceless Iraqi resistance. But what of the non-resistance? This is what the Bush administration did not want you to see. Innocent civilians who have been the victims of the most horrific acts of violence upon them, or as the Bush administration refers to it, 'Acceptable losses'.

Casualties of a war they do not want anything to do with. Moore takes us into the hospital where children have been severely injured from bomb blasts and cross fire. I was in total shock to see young children with half their faces missing being frantically attended to by surgeons with inadequate facilities. There was a young boy screaming in agony from the many wounds he had, including a large size of his face that had clearly been stitched back on, probably the result of a bomb blast

But the most disturbing footage, one which I will likely take to the grave, is of an Iraqi civilian, a father venting his anger at America because of all the innocent people who are being shot and bombed. Standing beside a truck full of dead and bloodied bodies, he is holding a mutilated baby and as screaming that America is responsible for this atrocity. He painfully throws its tiny body into the pile with the other corpses.

On the flip side, we also see American soldiers under attack. We see Iraqi resistance take the bodies of American soldiers and hang them by the neck in the streets, set them on fire, drag them behind cars, and bash their corpses with lumps of wood.

I commend Moore for taking us into the combat zone and displaying this horror. This footage is the closest understanding of the war people like you and I will be able to attain without actually going over there. And although those images will haunt me forever, I am glad I saw it.

The last third of the film is devoted to interviewing soldiers in the combat zone and those who are about to go there. We are also invited into the life of a proud patriot mother Lila Lipscomb, who grieves for her son, a casualty of the war. He story is heart wrenching and adds fuel to the fire that Bush should not have sent these kids to war.

Moore's presentation is incredibly effective. Just as you have finished laughing at one of the funny satirical jokes or a Bush Administration blunder, the tone suddenly takes a sharp tone toward the depressing.

F911 is more than a movie. It is a politics. The few who think this movie will not have an effect on the November elections are kidding themselves. It is both powerful and entertaining, but ultimately, it is life changing in the way it makes you think about war, and about politicians, in particular GW and his minions.

And for those who are sceptical about Moore's presentation of the facts, you should know that every second of film was meticulously scrutinised by a team of legal professionals and fact checkers before being released. Ultimately, there is no disputing the facts. Moore is also offering a $10,000 cash reward from his own pocket (not from the films studios) to anyone who can find a single factual flaw in his film. To date, no one has been able to prove him wrong.

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Wednesday 8th June 2005 | 12:38 AM

One of, if not THE most important documentaries you will ever see in your lifetime. If you haven't seen it, go to the video store RIGHT NOW my friends and get it out. Do not eat a big meal, and dont crack the m&m's and lemonade coz you might be nursing them in your lap about half way through. Well done on a brilliant review Mike, and bravo to your namesake to, for this is indeed life and opinion changing stuff.

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Tuesday 16th August 2005 | 02:39 AM

Hey guys. Nice website. I can't really agree with you guys on Michael Moore — I happen to detest him, but that's a personal opinion :) But it's always good to hear both sides of a story, so it may be worth checking out http://www.moorelies.com" target="_blank">Moore Lies.... This site has got some interesting articles that refute his claims and debunk his theories. Worth a read, even if you are a staunch Moore supporter! Cheers D

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Wednesday 17th August 2005 | 04:22 PM

Hey Dale, interesting site. With all the lies coming to us from the Bush Administration regarding everything from the war to pollution, I can definitely tolerate (and in this case I welcome) any lies that defame America and its stranglehold on the world (in every way imaginable), since we are fed the propaganda of our governments day in day out in the news media. And who really cares if some of his story is fabricated? It should be opening your eyes to the bigger picture of what MIGHT or IS going on in the world. Don't be fooled. I'm sure whatever genuine material there is in F911 is just the tip of a big stinking iceberg at the core of America. Cheers!

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Friday 19th August 2005 | 04:17 PM

"I can definitely tolerate (and in this case I welcome) any lies that defame America and its stranglehold on the world (in every way imaginable)" Well, Tom, by the sounds of things you have your own agenda. If you hate the USA and Western World so much then feel free to go live under communism, or even better a dictatorship; and while we're at it let's revert to the stonage and give up the comforts we enjoy... such as computers, televisions, cars... these things only serve to keep us in the Western stranglehold after all ... and let's stone our women to death and teach our kids to blow themselves up... Mate — the choice is there for you. I prefer to live in the big old evil world of the West. If you don't, you know your options! "And who really cares if some of his story is fabricated? It should be opening your eyes to the bigger picture of what MIGHT or IS going on in the world." Ermmm.... I care! Michael Moore promotes his viewpoint as truth. You accept his word (one man's viewpoint).. yet in the same breath you dismiss the MULTITUDE of media information out there as propaganda? Get real. See ya! Dale

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Sunday 16th April 2006 | 09:07 PM

While Moore's film is undoubtedly compelling viewing, and raises many questions, we cannot dismiss the fact that Moore is a genius of persuasion. He knows what hes doing, his ability to marginalise certain objects and people is vital to his film making. He knows exactly where and what to hit to get his point across, his ideologies and his opinions. Our emotions sometimes get the better of us and can overide our rational thinking, understandably, with all the graphic images and blood boiling portrayals of Bush. I think that this is a film we should all see, but be aware to keep an open mind. I happen to side with Michael Moore and his views, and F911 does spark curiosity about what really goes on in this world.  Just remember, keep your wits about you when watching this film. Cheers, Tubby in DownUnder.

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Monday 17th April 2006 | 12:05 AM

Tubby says: "Moore is a genius of persuasion".
Could not agree more. No doubt he has issues with Bush and Co, but I think his target is not misplaced.  Can't wait for his next film.

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