Burn, Baby Burn: Fahrenheit 9/11

Posted by Randall Packer | Sun Jun 27th 2004 8:07 a.m.

Burn, Baby Burn: Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has descended upon us, a gripping
portrait of the Bush Kingdom that smokes with the flames of these
apocalyptic times. Moore documents how, since 9/11, even going back
to the Florida election scandal, George W. Bush & Co. has scorched
our liberties, our laws, our sensibilities, and our freedoms.

Bush is portrayed, without much effort, as a dangerous buffoon who
sat reading "My Pet Goat" for 7 minutes to a group of school children
in Florida, while hijacked planes were raining from the sky. The Bush
Family "oilgarchy" is shown to have deep business ties
(collaborative!) with the Saudi Royal Family as well as the Bin Laden
Clan, throwing the latter's post 9/11 getaway into suspect light. And
Moore's account of the Iraq fiasco centers around the ultra-patriotic
Lila Lipscomb from Flint, Michigan, who is shown sobbing in front of
the White House after the news of her son's death - raging against
the Administration.

Fahrenheit 9/11 will surely come to be known as the Great War Film of
the era of the War on Terrorism. The film is one part satire, one
part tragedy, and 100% act of artistic mediation that attempts to
unseat from power the President and his Republican cronies. However
accurate the film may be, its purpose is to peel off the layers of
lies and deception handed down by our political leaders to reveal the
true nature of their intent. It also attempts to reveal the
foolishness, sloppiness, and hypocrisy of politicians on both sides
of the isle: an appeal to Congressmen who haven't read the Patriot
Act is countered by reading it to them from behind the wheel of an
ice cream truck encircling the US Capitol; Moore personally recruits
Congressmen by asking them to sign up their own children to join the
Army if they really support the War in Iraq; and a startling scene in
the Senate Chamber at the opening of the film reveals that not a
single Senator supported a House-led petition to investigate the
Florida election scandal.

This is the film we have all been waiting for. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a
powerful catharsis that vents the anger spreading across the nation
and around the world at an Administration perilously on the brink of
self-destruction and global annihilation. Michael Moore is the hero
of our times, an artist who has expressed our collective horror.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is an artwork that reaches beyond the screen and
attempts to bring the possibilities of change into action, action
that might translate into votes.

Fahrenheit 9/11 demonstrates the power of art to reveal what is so
obvious to some, but remains elusive to most behind the veil of
deception and propaganda. Let's hope the film ignites Joe America and
the rest of the red-zone populace, inspiring them to shed the
terrible illusion afflicted upon them by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,
to exercise their one remaining, untargeted freedom, the right to
vote (even that is now suspect). Our 200 + year experiment with
democracy hangs by a thread, but with films such as Michael Moore's
Fahrenheit 9/11, hope remains.

Go see it if you haven't already.

Randall Packer
  • Jason Van Anden | Sun Jun 27th 2004 11:14 a.m.
    Very well said Randall. I saw it Friday night in Times Square, and felt the same way as you, as did the rest of the audience who arrived ready to love Michael Moore and hate George W. Bush. This concerns me -- a lot.

    Presumably, politically motivated art is supposed to bring about change. I believe more often than not it often fails to fulfill this mission because it preaches to the chior.

    This realization has been bumming me out since Friday night.

    In order for F 9/11 to not only document history, but effect it, young people and Republicans need to see it. It seems to me that one way this could happen is if it is released on DVD in the early Fall, well before the election.

    This may seem obvious, but just in case it isn't, here is my logic:

    The R Rating (and price of movie tickets) will discourage kids from seeing the film this summer (especially the ones most vulnerable to being recruited to the armed forces).

    Moderate Republicans may feel a little dirty if caught buying a movie ticket to F 9/11 at their local theater in mainstream America - they might feel different about renting it.

    Jason Van Anden
  • Jack Stenner | Sun Jun 27th 2004 2:49 p.m.
    On Jun 27, 2004, at 12:14 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > Very well said Randall.

    I agree, very well said!

    > I saw it Friday night in Times Square, and felt the same way as you,
    > as did the rest of the audience who arrived ready to love Michael
    > Moore and hate George W. Bush. This concerns me -- a lot.
    >
    > Presumably, politically motivated art is supposed to bring about
    > change. I believe more often than not it often fails to fulfill this
    > mission because it preaches to the chior.
    >
    > This realization has been bumming me out since Friday night.

    Deja vu, I've been thinking the same way. I went to see the movie
    Friday morning here in College Station (home of daddy Bush's
    presidential library). It was a very large crowd considering it was
    10:30 AM, and considering the conservative environment. As we were
    leaving, a television reporter and camera crew was outside interviewing
    people. A number of people gave interviews (myself included), and
    eventually, the reporter asked the crowd if anyone DIDN'T like/agree
    with the movie. Not a single had was raised, even though they would
    have been in the majority city-wide. The same tv station had
    previously conducted a poll, and 72% of respondents said they weren't
    planning to see the movie, so obviously, the crowd was mostly the
    choir.

    I don't think the movie will change minds that are already closed. I
    do believe that those who are open-minded and attend the movie might be
    swayed simply by virtue of the power of Moore's ability to compel the
    viewer with real life situations. This movie will convince those who
    are sitting on the fence more readily than any speech by John Kerry.
    For me, it's simply worthwhile to know that there are others out there
    who see through the haze.

    Jack Stenner
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