Stateside: Film Review - Fahrenheit 9/11
Film Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's a point during Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 when I felt like I was watching a BBC costume drama. You know the type - with the rich and powerful family entertaining their rich and powerful friends amid the glitter of candlelight reflecting off crystal. Cut to next scene where poor waifs are begging on the streets of London, dressed in rags.
C'mon Michael! A few boarded up homes in Flint, Michigan, and a bunch of people hanging outside the local food bank, dressed in clothes I can't afford to buy even with a full-time job is hardly the Dickensian effect I'm sure you were striving for.
So what if not one senator -- not ONE senator -- signed the objection to the 2000 election "result" that was repeatedly asked for in the House by African American Representatives who knew how their Floridian cousins had been turned away from the polls. That really makes me want to vote for Senator Kerry.
Fact is, this movie is wasted on Americans. The audience doesn't even get it that the joke is on them in the final scene where GW Bush flubs the jest he's trying to make about being fooled more than once. The film's closing lyrics of Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" are wasted on them too.
They're too busy applauding the movie and cheering.
Catharsis is such a wonderful thing, and don't the rich and powerful know it. In an earlier age it would be off with Moore's head for making the treasonous suggestion that the Saudis' billions mean more to the Bush family than the $400,000 we taxpayers give them to play at being king for a few years.
Nowadays, you arrange for a metaphorical beheading, but allow a last-minute (rich and powerful in the film world) saviour to come along. Then even Dog Eat Dog has its day, steam is let off, and nothing changes. The audience just keeps on walking right past the beggars as it exits the theatre.
It will be interesting to see what gets discussed at Monday night's parties during and after the nationwide live audio link-up via the Internet that will take place between Moore and people who've seen the movie and who've signed up at Moveon.org to attend a party in their local area. I'll keep you posted!