I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last Saturday evening. It’s taken me a while to digest everything I saw, and I’d definitely like to see it again. The film was an emotional roller coaster; anger, astonishment, tears and laughter left me reeling.
I also thought Moore was sensitive in his treatment of 9/11 itself. I don’t think it was necessary to see the twin towers horror one more time.
Lacking a better category for statistical purposes I can understand why the film is billed a documentary. But, I don’t really feel it’s a true documentary. It’s really of a genre that is more op-ed non-fiction. There’s some objectivity missing. Not in the clips presented, those stand on their own even out of context. But more in the way the clips were strung together with the narrative, which perhaps did not present the complete picture. At the same time, the editing is absolutely amazing — it’s a four-year rush of history that makes you reel.
Sure Michael Moore takes liberties with presentation, but that’s okay. This is a two hour film, only so much can be included and Moore is known for spin too. There’s many that will take it as absolute truth in the same way that right-wing fundies have taken the neo-con spin as their gospel. Then there are the rest of us left holding the bag, trying to figure out what to believe.
That’s not to say that I specifically disbelieve anything that’s in movie, I’m just generally jaded and smart enough to know there’s always more to any story. We’ve had so much crap shoved down our throats by this administration and the media it’s just impossible to know what to believe if you don’t have first-hand knowledge.
Still, I do hope that Moore’s film will be the impetus to mobilize and unite Democrats enough to get Bush and his administration out.
Some things in the movie that bugged me; stuff that I wasn’t really aware of previously:
– KIDS in the military who are gunning down Iraqis while listening to heavy metal, behaving as if it were a video game. Sure it allows them to detach from the fact that they’re taking life, but how sick is that?
– Only ONE congress person has a child in the military? Only one?
– No one READ the Patriot Act before signing it into law? And lawmakers don’t always read bills before voting on them? That is INSANE.
– Bush’s tï¿½te-ï¿½-tï¿½te dinner with the Saudi ambassador within days after 9/11. Oh, to have been the fly on the wall.
– The protection the Saudi embassy receives.
There’s a ton more, I could go on forever…
I left the theater with tears in my eyes and angry as hell. Outside, waiting in line for the next show was my friend Rob, his girlfriend and a couple of their friends. Rob gave me hug and whispered in my ear: “Am I gonna like this?” I told him “Oh yeah!” The group peppered me with questions but I was still too stunned to really respond.
“How much of it’s true?” they asked. I told them they’d have to decide for themselves. But in retrospect, I should have said “Every damned bit of it.”
Rob and I talked about the movie the next day. I’ll write about that next.