Projections - Movie Reviews

Fahrenheit 9/11

Starring Michael Moore

Many will watch Michael Moore’s new documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11 with more than a little scepticism. But it’s hard to say that his politically-charged film lacks the power to make one think about their views on the current Iraqi crisis.

His opinions were heard loud and clear at his acceptance speech at the Oscars for Bowling For Columbine on President George W. Bush. Now, Fahrenheit 9/11 is getting a wider, much earlier release before the US presidential election in November. It is the documentarian’s most ambitious, controversial work to date, and perhaps his most chilling.

Moore points throughout to a corrupt president involved in fraud because of greed, power, and not being able to withhold a grudge. Obviously, the White House won’t be holding many screenings of a film their staff thinks is half-baked and a bunch of conspiracy theories.

This far-reaching, global expose has some intriguing information, touching sequences shoe-horned with strong evidence and speculation.

Moore’s hard-hitting accusations undeniably have a style that brings an intensity to Fahrenheit 9/11 as in that fateful Tuesday morning in September of 2001. In Bowling For Columbine he displayed the WTC terrorist attacks in longer shots. Here, he blackens the screen for full auditory effect of the planes and the sounds of the witnesses below.

A document provides the basis for caparison of Bush and Bin Laden ties. When the president was in the Texas Air National Guard, he knew a man who would sell a plane to a brother of Osama Bin Laden. Then, in Bush’s Texas oil business days, the Bin Laden dynasty used him to invest in Texas and Bush’s corporation.

The later misfortunes of Bush’s companies prompted Arab investments which involved his father. The result being the weapons and oil companies helped Bush, as well as those in the Middle East, gain financially after 9/11. Some may dispute the kind of proof Moore shows using mostly military records.

Fahrenheit 9/11 gets more personal, even emotional after a clip of an ex-counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke tells of Bush’s attempt to implicate Iraq in the homeland attacks.

The root of the escalating action in Afghanistan turns out to be running a natural gas pipeline across the country, and than Moore covers ground in Iraq very persuasively. Deeply felt testimony from grieving parents of servicemen, atrocities facing civilians, and interviews with US troops change the mood of the film. There’s no shying away from the burning of dead servicemen, as well as other tortures and the brutality inflicted on Iraqi prisoners which created a global stir. It’s fair-minded, nonetheless, when it comes to getting a perspective on the effects of helping Iraq start a new government.

With less satirical humor (for good reason), Moore mainly lets the people do the talking, even with his crew trailing army recruiters in the director’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, the chief setting of Roger & Me.

His confrontational side appears in a visit to our nation’s capital in interviews with Congressman urging their children to serve in Iraq. Moore claims there is only one Congressman whose son is on active duty there.

The intentions and editing may underline a disillusionment and depravity that Moore makes seem purposeful.

His recent Palm D’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival proves that his bold, uninhibited approach has an affecting tenacity to it, even with its overly impressing conspiratorial nature.

Fahrenheit 911

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