You can view a
version of this
article here.
Fahrenheit 9/11

27 September 2004 | 992 words

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Michael Moore’s America, in which financially strapped and marginally educated voters take a genuine interest in overseas foreign policy while becoming appalled that the ramifications of September 11th have not yet been fully understood, and then cast their votes based on these interests, is a truly romantic one and for that I salute Michael Moore. Moore is a patriot to the core (despite what the forthcoming Michael Moore Hates America will have to say about it), which has left him with the unfortunate blindspot of many a sincere patriot before him: the inability to correctly gauge the state and capacity of the average American that surrounds him.

Ultimately, the Achilles’ Heel in Moore’s project of dethroning George W. Bush may be found in the sobering reality that too many individuals in America live lives that don’t have anything to do with the propaganda (in the best sense of the word) Moore is selling them on in the first place. The difficulties to be understood in Fahrenheit 9/11 (perhaps one of the most well-researched, eruditely constructed pieces of propaganda ever put on film) has both everything and nothing to do with contemporary American life. The sad fact is, if George W. Bush can do anything remotely positive to the American economy in the months leading up to the election, or convert a miracle, Hail Mary-like pass in the dying seconds of the Presidential race in the form of capturing Osama Bin Laden, then all the Michael Moores in the world won’t be able to prevent Dubya from living out another four years as CEO of the U.S.A.
-Jason Woloski

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Replacing the now infamous images of commercial planes spearing through the sides of the WTC with a pitch black screen, sounds of terror and disbelief coming from bodiless figures, Michael Moore in fact manages to conjure the unthinkable himself: the sickening abuse of images to which his film only obliquely alludes. This aesthetic mystification of the attack not only stinks of cheap and cruel emotional manipulation, but by making of it a thing into which we cannot stare directly, he encourages silent reverence and resignation rather than critical sharpness, self-awareness, and a sense of responsibility. Archie Bunker had a word for dross of this nature, one that transcends political affiliations and ideological orientations, that runs to the core of the complex and befuddling rituals of self-deception and selective memory that cater to the late modern attention span: “crapola.”
-Colin Burnett

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
The expected attack on President Bush became an unexpected elegy to the soldiers who have died (and will die) in Iraq. If I had one word that I would like to interrogate the meaning of as a result of this documentary I would choose: freedom. The claim to give someone freedom and to fight for freedom means that someone has a definite idea of what this word means. Umm, Mr Bush?
-Janos Sitar

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Florida + hanging chads + conspiracy = election – credibility
W + golf = U.S.A. – leadership
(terrorists + airplanes) + U.S.A = 9.11
U.S.A – WTC = rationality / (fear + anger)
Osama Bin Laden = terrorist
terrorist = bad
Bin Laden family = Saudi
Saudi Arabia = bad
Bin Laden family + Bush family = $
9.11 ≠ Saddam Hussein
Iraq = Oil
Oil = $
W + corporations = greed
Saddam Hussein + Iraq ≠ WMD
W > Saddam Hussein
life < oil
war = death
dead soldiers = grieving parents
life = 0

2004 = election
Michael Moore + camera = Fahrenheit 9/11
-Owen Livermore

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
In Mooreland, like Disneyland before it, you can buy a clearcut, specific ideology simply by paying $10.50, or whatever your local Cineplex charges, then sit back and watch as Moore and his crew do all the dirty work while you get credit just for liking him. In Mooreland, simply going to see a movie is the new form of political activism (passive, low-impact activism), as is exercising your most basic right as an American: voting. Apparently, since you’ve taken voting for granted for so long and haven’t cared to make an effort to come out to the polls in years, we’ll actually count it as activism if you bother this time around. In Mooreland, films that are supposed to be ultra-politically charged and generate loud screaming matches after screenings are in reality so clearly laid out that when it comes time to argue, the debate can accurately be reduced to, “I loved it. I love Michael Moore,” or “I hated it. I hate Michael Moore.” In any other year, Michael Moore could be a very dangerous man. In 2004, Michael Moore could end up a hero for stopping that other, even more dangerous man.
-Jason Woloski

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Je n’ai pas l’intention d’écouter Fahrenheit 9/11 simplement parce que j’ai l’impression que le film n’a pour but que de me convaincre de quelquechose dont je suis déjà convaincu.
-Mattieu Bégin

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote that “the United States are fit for many excellent purposes but they are not fit to live in.” The present administration seems set on proving him only half right.

Michael Moore, in turn, is set on proving the present administration is full of idiots and crooks (underplaying the ways they may be in fact sinister). He’s not interested in analysis or even investigation; this is Fox News for blue states, and on this level it works. But the film is his best precisely because it succeeds in being bigger than this.

Moore gets crowded off-screen by the genuine emotion boiling at the surface of his images and the result is a long string of great moments and a film that asks you to look beyond the spin (even Moore’s) to the consequences of our insane contemporary political climate. This is a real achievement, and I don’t mind saying that I don’t know how Moore managed to do it, especially since he discredits his most moving interview subject’s grief in the eyes of those who see her simply by going with her to the White House.
-Brian Crane

<<< :: Previous entry
bubba ho-tep (2003)

Next entry :: >>>
+ Splinter Reviews (IV)

[ Back to Top ]

ISSN 1715-7641
Copyright © 2004-2005 Synoptique and its respective authors. All rights reserved.
Reproductions of any portion of this website only with the
expressed permission of Synoptique and its respective authors.

 * * *