One longs for greatness in cinema today if just for the preservation of the
health of this most precious and delicate of art forms. Michael Moore’s
recent film “Farenheit 911” falls so short of its hype that the result may be
disastrous to the anti-war movement. As cinema goes so does our civilization.
Farenheit begins with the theft of the Presidential election in 2000. Then
Moore runs credits. Then he establishes the greed of the Bush clan with video
snippets of them that establishes their station.
Then he switches to his propaganda campaign about 9/11. He asserts repeatedly
that there were hijackers, 15 of whom are Saudi. Moore’s boldness
is faux. Yes, he’s hinting that the Bush Regime was in contact with
elites in Saudi Arabia that sponsored the Saudi hijackers. However,
by confirming the existence of and continuously legitimizing Al Qaeda
generally he cedes the means of control the Bush Regime has over
the anti-war movement. This central flaw in Farenheit comes at this crucial
juncture in history. Meanwhile, the mass hysteria over Farenheit among the anti-war movement
is drowning out legitimate criticism of it.
Moore follows his 9/11 propaganda segment with a very strong anti-war
section for the last hour. The most memorable parts of this section
include graphic footage of Iraqis just after their loved ones have been killed.
Unfortunately, the anti-war commentary at the end doesn't make up for
Moore elevating Al Qaeda’s stature as a means to terrify the
US public. In time those graphic images near the end which move the
anti-war movement will disappear from people's minds. However,
the White House can continue to push the
“Al Qaeda beheading button”
whenever it needs a new topic for the corporate media’s front page. Moore
has empowered them to do this.
Many people understand our democracy is rapidly nearing its end. (Before they
snatch me away I'd like to say that the Ferris Wheel sequence in the
classic movie "The Third Man" remains majestic.) Sadly, Michael Moore's
"Farenheit 911" fails to improve the future prospects for cinema-goers everywhere.