Our copy of the Palme D’or winning movie by Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11 turned up in the post this morning. Having not managed to see it at the cinema, and heard great things about the movie from those who have seen it, we spent the morning watching it, and browsing through the extras.
The movie covers similar ground to Michael Moore’s two most recent books Stupid White Men: …and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! and Dude, Where’s My Country?. Opening with the problems with the 2000 election in Florida it highlights the association between those running the election and George Bush, and how different networks called the state for different candidates. It then goes on to look at the Bush Presidency paying particular attention to what happened on 9th September, and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also highlights the business links between Bush and his White House staff, the clear message being that the war in Iraq, and less so the war in Afghanistan was less about catching terrorists, and a lot more about oil.
Despite having read the books, there were still things I hadn’t realised. The fact that numerous members of congress tried to stop the approval of Bush in a joint session of Congress, but were stopped and the motions thrown out because no senator would sign was amazing. More so because the person in charge of the session was Al Gore. The footage of the effects of the war in Iraq on both the people of Iraq, and the soilders sent to fight was harrowing, and shows how much news footage is sanitised for general consumption.
There is also an extra DVD which includes about ninety minutes of extra footage that wasn’t included in the movie. The movie is over two hours long anyway, and much of the footage is not directly realted to the core message of the movie, but all is very interesting. There is a particularly funny sequence from an Arab American Comedy Festival in New York.
Whilst Michael Moore makes no secret of his politics, and the film is very much his opinion and hardly objective, all the facts in the film are listed, and confirmed on his website at http://www.michaelmoore.com. Despite what the Republicans would have people believe, this is probably one of the most factually and legally scruitinised movies ever, purely because of the subject matter it is dealing with. As such, whilst there have been a number of attempts to reduce the impact of the movie, and many of the people involved have publically said that the movie is inaccurate, none has attempted to prove it in a court of law.
Whilst sequences in the movie are pretty tough going, I think that everybody in the UK and USA should see the movie, especially to see what has been done in Iraq in our names. This movie is highly recommended.