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Fahrenheit 9/11

2004-06-16 18:06:18.916291+00 by Diane Reese 18 comments

I've been waiting with some trepidation to see Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" since I heard of its existence months ago. After it became a surprise winner of the Palm d'Or at Cannes this year, and after the distribution controversy and the pathetic attempts to label Moore a "domestic enemy", my resolve to see it only strengthened.

The film opens on Friday, 6/25, in a small number of theatres nationwide. People who have previewed it seem to feel it is a much more powerful film than Bowling for Columbine, and a better movie overall. I strongly encourage like-minded patriots to see it early in its run, to help make a statement about its importance. To see the trailer (which I found quite powerful in its own right) or find theatres which will show it on opening weekend, visit http://www.f911tix.com/.

My fear is that I will walk out of the theatre filled with rage and pain. I plan to enter the theatre expecting to walk out with resolve to see things changed. I am convinced we have an opportunity now, perhaps unlike any since "the '60s", to change our country's direction for the better. Energize, motivate, activate, expand.

[ related topics: Politics Movies Theater & Plays Heinlein Archival ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-16 18:14:40.214954+00 by: petronius

Surprise winner? The only surprise is that the cheese-eaters of Cannes didn't run him for the European Parliment.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-16 18:30:57.488642+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

OK, fine, remove the word "surprise".

(PS: Cheese is good.)

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-16 18:46:07.9995+00 by: ziffle

Cheese not withstanding, I try and relate to your positive feelings for this film and Michael Moore, and I can not find such feelings - this film, based only upon the reviews you site, and his other stuff seems to be so selective in focus that to me, it misses the issues.

Reminds me of an experience in 1971 in Columbus Ohio (no relation to Columbine :) ) where there was an anti Vietnam war rally, and I asked a question 'are you saying you should just let the communists win?' and the response was -- negative - To my question! (Of course Jerry Rubin later became a stock broker)

Here he seems to be saying, 'ignore the fact that we were attacked' and just ignore that no matter what. At some point I will defend my family, and yes, my country and it seems right that this is what is happening -- so I can not see how this can be ignored - should we not defend the country? (Lauro Nyro breaks into song: "Eli's a Comin!") <g>

Ziffle of (sigh) Maberry

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-16 19:10:18.830613+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

I think it might be important to see the film and understand its message first -- as will I. The 9/11 Commission has just released its findings indicating that there is and was no "cooperation" between Iraq and al Qaeda, and hence whatever excuses are being given for the war in Iraq, they have no relation to the 9/11 attacks, which absolutely merited a response from the US.

The report contradicts statements from the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda.

I would even go so far as to say the war in Afghanistan had some justification. Iraq? No. (And as I understand it, part of the point of Fahrenheit 9/11 is to show that the anger and need to respond to the 9/11 attacks were manipulated into a convenient justification for the public for a further war that had other drivers.)

But then I've noticed in the past that your politics and mine seldom agree in much of any way, so I'm not terribly surprised we disagree on this also.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-16 20:41:53.810845+00 by: Larry Burton

I am convinced we have an opportunity now, perhaps unlike any since "the '60s", to change our country's direction for the better.

I would really like to see Bush out of office, probably for different reasons than most participants here, but I don't see the Democrats offering a change for the better, just a change to something different.

I'm not sure that Farenheit 9/11 will offer anything to me that I'm not already aware of. I'm also skeptical of Michael Moore's ability to produce an accurate documentary any better than Oliver Stone.

It also bothers me that Lion's Gate Films is planning on spending more on marketing this film than what it cost to produce it. It seems as though the film is being used for propoganda purposes more than educational purposes. I don't like being manipulated by either side of the political fence.

Please give us a review of the film when you see it. If it turns out that it is something different than what I'm expecting it to be and it is any good I'd like to see the film. For now it isn't on my lists of movies to see.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-17 14:55:14.037824+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

I'm not generally a fan of Michael Moore, I found his TV show completely unwatchable, and the assorted critiques of Bowling for Columbine[Wiki](and Moore's subsequent explanations for his misrepresentation of chronologies and the like) have pushed me away from bothering with that.

However, and maybe this is a chance for me to explore my own prejudices, someone had the trailer for Fahrenheit 9/11[Wiki] up on a computer here at the office and I haven't had the sense of a dark comedy like that in a long time. It was hilarious in that "I can't believe I'm laughing at this" sort of way.

And as more leaks out about the two classes of airplane flying on 2001-09-12, I'll be fascinated by Moore's take on the Saudi airlift.

Larry, it doesn't bother me that more is being spent on marketing than making the film, depending on how you account for tie-ins and cross-promotion I believe that that's the case for almost all movies. The general sense I got at Pixar[Wiki] was that marketing costs were at least equal to production costs, it's just that some of those amounts were lost in cross-licensing deals (although I'll bet they showed up when it came time to figure out percentage of net...).

And documentaries are generally cheaper to make.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-17 15:31:32.804589+00 by: topspin

I don't understand the hoopla about this film. Let's face it, Michael Moore is in the category of Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken. When I see a Moore film, I'm not expecting objectivity. When I see a James Dobson film, I am not expecting objectivity either.

I expect Moore will get the facts he wants to present relatively straight and present them in a way which supports his agenda. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.

That the film won the Palm d'Or at Cannes is the result of two things: international disgust at the way America is currently behaving and the currently dismal state of the art of filmmaking.

As for the marketing, Larry. Documentaries are CHEAP to make, so I'm not that stunned that distribution costs exceed production costs. Is some politics involved? Sure, but I think part of it is an attitude of "We'll show you...." because of the pressure placed on folks NOT to market the film.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-17 16:19:58.159262+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Cam has started a discussion forum for the film over at http://www.fh911.com/

#Comment Two classes of airplane? made: 2004-06-17 21:04:07.677378+00 by: baylink

Other than the reputed G-5 with "Binladen" on the registration papers reportedly flying at about 1600 on 9/11/01, I hadn't heard about this; link?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-17 21:23:50.716704+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Here's a basic rundown of the flights which took about 140 Saudis out of the country in the days following September 11th 2001, it should be noted that during this period there was no very little other civilian aviation.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-17 21:31:52.564041+00 by: Dan Lyke

And within the past couple of days there's been third party confirmation about this flight between Tampa and Lexington which the feds say didn't happen, but the local airport folks report seeing (and refueling): New York Daily News, Kentucky.com.

#Comment house parties! made: 2004-06-22 03:20:09.145157+00 by: shinybluegrasshopper

I know I'm going to feel upset after I see the movie, so I'm gonna go to a house party on Monday night to talk about it! Sign up yourself!

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-22 21:50:37.980897+00 by: Dan Lyke

Christopher Hitchens is uncomplimentary towards the film and its premises, but gets at least one fact wrong (about the flights out, that Tampa to Lexington flight is in a different class from toe others) and deliberately confuses several other issues (troop strengths of the Afghan deployment could have been higher had we not gone after Iraq) in such a way that I'm now more likely to view both sides with skepticism.

Which is probably what Hitchens was shooting for, so he's succeeded on that level, but mostly it just reconfirms my opionion that everyone's lying.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-22 21:55:08.481497+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh yeah: Even in linking to a story about Richard Clarke taking responsibility for approving those flights, Hitchens misses that according to the story Clarke appears to be taking responsibility for a decision that he did not, in fact, make.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-23 22:03:42.317087+00 by: mimi guthrie [edit history]

Hey, if you want to start a revolution, I have my tye dye ready. I don't have to see the movie to know that I desperately want to make a change in our country's politics. I will, of course, see the film and love it I'm sure. Bowling for Columbine had my partner and I howling and crying we were laughing so hard. Why take anyone else's word for it? BTW, I attended lots of anti-war rallys in Columbus, Ohio in 1971-probably all of them. Who'd you ask about the communists? The guy standing next to you? Most of those demonstrations were run by the SDS and I highly doubt any organizer would have just copped to a "negative" response. I remember the rubber bullets and the tear gas but I don't remember anyone trying to make this case. BTW, I was with my boyfriend and his fellow Marines who were in wigs and AWOL from Beaufort at the time.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-24 23:34:17.173238+00 by: Diane Reese

sfgate apparently gave this movie wild applause.

The somber tone notwithstanding, this film is on fire. It's an exhausting, shattering thing to watch, and the mood it casts lasts for days. What both exalts the experience and grounds the picture is Moore's essentially patriotic faith that a sincere, invested argument can get a hearing in America. To see "Fahrenheit 9/11" and experience its passion is to wonder why there haven't been popular political films like this since movies began, and from all points of view. It seems like such a reasonable use of cinema, and an inexpressibly worthy one.

I may be in Florida this week helping my dad get back on his feet after emergency back surgery, but I'm going to try to slip away Friday night to see the opening in Daytona Beach. Anyone in the area want to join me?

#Comment Re: Liberal Demacommies made: 2004-06-25 18:43:20.109045+00 by: Red_White_And_True [edit history]

I love this movie, because it's going to show all the swing voters what a bunch of fringe wackos these anti-American Hollywood elites are. Michael Moore should keep flying on his expensive, fancy jets to his capitalist driven book signings, all the while getting rich off the economy he purports is so horrid. And he should keep making these vast right-wing conspiracy movies... it'll just serve to expose him and the people who endorse him as the narrow-minded, defenseless, cowards they are. Anyway, I got a question... how are you libs going to explain Bush's victory this time? I think we will all credit Mr. Moore with generating enough buzz and hype so that by November, all his questions will be answered and Bush will be recognized not as the demon he is villified as, but as the courageous leader of a freedom-loving, distinctly capitalist country deeply involved in a difficult war.

P.S. What about the recently declassified document talking about Saddam's repeated attempts to entertain bin Laden's proposal of striking "foreign" troops staioned in Saudi Arabia, or about the Hussein-sponsored terrorist training camps for Ansar al-Islam? I wonder if those questions will be answered by Mr. Moore's movie...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-06-25 21:48:20.840151+00 by: Dan Lyke

Red White And True, can you offer up citations to these resources? My feeble searches on the Ansar al-Islam connection to Al Qaeda pre-invasion aren't pulling up credible sources (or at least no more credible than the Chalabi coordinated sources that much of the alleged WMD stuff came from), and I'd also be interested in this document about Saddam Hussein approaching Osama bin Laden as an ally.