Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A Review of Fahrenheit 911
By Michael Ankleman

Keep telling yourself: It's not just a movie; it's not just a movie, it's your country.

No matter what you've heard about Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 911, the truth is that this is an entertain-mentary that rightfully bashes Bush, the Republicans, AND the Democrats, and has fun doing it. It's also sad, disheartening and inspiring all at the same time.

From a technical standpoint, I give it 3-1/2 stars out of four, since it lost steam and direction toward the end.

Politically, I give it four stars. You must remember, that while this movie was being made, much of the information it presents was not known to the general public, proving once again and again and again that there is no such thing as a liberal-biased media. If there were, everything in this movie already would have been common knowledge at the time the movie was made. Actually, let me rephrase that; If there were a hardworking, balanced media, that wasn't comprised of lazy, gutless reporting, everything in this movie already would have been common knowledge.

The criticisms leveled at this movie are laughable in their hairsplitting pettiness, designed to distract attention away from the colossal temerity and deceit of this administration. But this is a common ploy of the right wing.

For example, when faced with the irrefutable disparity of the service records of Bush and Kerry, the right attempted to paint Kerry as a liar because he may have called his ribbons medals, or his medals ribbons. Then they had the audacity to question whether he had been wounded enough to deserve his third purple heart. And no one in the media said, "Wwwwwwhat!!!???"

The movie has also been criticized for only telling one side of the story. DUHHH! That's the PURPOSE of the movie, to tell the side of the story we haven't been getting.

The movie has been criticized for taking cheap shots, but I think it shows great restraint, considering what COULD have been done. One cheap shot I thought needed to be taken but wasn't, would have intercut clips of the administration's fantasized predictions about the Iraqi people hailing us as conquering heroes with clips of the brutal reality.

Michael Moore's answer to the criticisms should be, "Is that the best ya got?" This president was asleep at the wheel when we were attacked, then invaded a country that had nothing to do with it at irreparable costs to our own security, and they criticize the movie because it doesn't list ALL of the countries of the coalition? Because the movie didn't mention a certain congressman has a NEPHEW in Iraq when it states that only one member out of almost 500 representatives and senators has a CHILD in Iraq? Is that the best ya got?

But here's the most important part. Michael Moore takes this information and presents it with such impactful clarity and succinctness that even the old information makes you step back, look at the big picture, and say to yourself, "Damn, that's incredible!" It shakes you out of your media-induced stupor about recent events and makes you ask, "How did we get to this point, and why wasn't it stopped?"

How could this have happened? Why didn't someone stop this? Here's the killer answer to that killer question: Because WE let it happen. Because WE didn't stop it. But now WE can make sure it isn't allowed to continue, in November.

Remember, the same people who didn't want the votes counted in Florida, DON'T want you to see this film. So do America a favor. SEE THIS FILM!

And since, in their attempts to defend the Abu Ghraib inhumanities, the right is now wallowing in the very moral relativism they say they despise, here's an excerpt from a Slate article that puts Moore's film in the context of today's political climate.

Slate
Proper Propaganda
Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is unfair and outrageous.
You got a problem with that?

By David Edelstein
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004, at 4:00 PM PT

Fahrenheit 9/11 must be viewed in the context of the Iraq occupation and the torrent of misleading claims that got us there. It must be viewed in the context of Rush Limbaugh repeating the charge that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in Fort Marcy Park, or laughing off the exposure of Valerie Plame when, had this been a Democratic administration, he'd be calling every day for the traitor's head. It must be viewed in the context of Ann Coulter calling for the execution of people who disagree with her. It must be viewed in the context of another new documentary, the superb The Hunting of the President, that documents—irrefutably—the lengths to which the right went to destroy Bill Clinton. Moore might be a demagogue, but never—not even during Watergate—has a U.S. administration left itself so open to this kind of savaging.

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