Rated R - Running Time: 2:02 - Released 6/30/04

This review is presented in two parts: Part 1 is what I wrote after seeing Michael Moore’s Palme d’Or-winning documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11, and Part 2 came after I did some investigation into Moore’s methods in compiling and presenting his material.

First, Part 1:

Everyone, and I mean every voting-age American, needs to see Fahrenheit 9/11. I don’t care whether you like Michael Moore or not, whether you like George W. Bush or not, whether you support the war in Iraq, whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, a soldier, a student, a business executive, a housewife, rich or poor, black or white, religious or not—it is of paramount importance that this generation take charge of the upcoming election by learning as much as possible about our president and his policies. If you think Michael Moore spins the facts, that’s okay—you can decide what you believe is true in this film or what is “staged.” But you need to see it to know what you’re talking about. You need to hear what is said by your president and his colleagues, by the soldiers, the senators, and the Iraqi people, and the everyday citizens in the U.S., to become aware of our country’s present place in the world view and how we got there. They all have something to say, and what they say is important and eye-opening, regardless of Moore’s editing, his namby-pamby narration, or his clever musical selections.


And now, Part 2:

After doing a little research, I have discovered that Moore’s movie is indeed filled with slightly skewed “evidence,” misleading factual information, and not-fully-honest interpretations of events. According to a website which goes through the film chronologically listing numerous well-researched “deceits” propagated by Moore in the film (many of which amount to factual nit-picking, but some of which do change one’s opinion somewhat), I am forced to the conclusion that my original reaction was, perhaps, a little less than objective. It is unfortunate that Moore feels it’s necessary to practice minor deception on us “stupid Americans” in order to make his points. But I still stand by everything I said in Part 1. I still feel it is important that everyone see this film so that we may then discuss its relevance or lack thereof. There are certainly plenty of unaltered quotes and interviews which expose the true character of Bush and his administration. All you have to do is listen to the man talk to see what I mean. At any rate, we all need to see the movie in order to talk about it.

Incidentally, for those who despise Moore and his methods, don’t worry: There’s a counter-documentary in the works called Michael Moore Hates America, due out in August. If it comes within reach, I’ll be interested in seeing it too, and will do my best to review it objectively.

There. Is that fair and balanced enough? ****

Copyright 2004 by John R. McEwen and The Republican

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