Saturday, July 24, 2004


Tonight Jo and I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11.

I was expecting to like it given that I rate Michael Moore's previous work and agree with where he’s coming from on the majority of issues (even if, as below, sometimes I disagree a little with his methods).

What I wasn’t expecting was to actually admire it quite so much as a piece of filmwork in and of itself.

From the opening segment the film is immensely successful in it’s powerful use of images and sound in a way that takes you right into the pain of the atrocities being examined.

As one might expect with Michael Moore he also gets his significant political viewpoint over in a powerful and also at times hysterically funny manner.

That said, there are significant problems with the film in terms of its selective reporting and manipulative editing. Whilst Moore is never claiming to make a piece of robust objective journalism, I feel the level of bias evident, risks at times detracting from his message. At the end of the day, George W and his cronies provide so much damning material on their own, that the temptation to take cheap shots is better avoided.

An example of this is the section on the naming some of the countries involved in the Coalition of the willing. The involvement of countries such as Britain, Spain and Australia go unmentioned, whilst Moore chooses to point out that members such as Papua, Costa Rica and Iceland don’t even have armies.

As a British viewer, this lack of mention of our role in everything and Blair’s particularly shameful role in supporting Dubya so slavishly, makes the film uneasy viewing at times as it provides the opportunity to simple project the problem and responsibility solely on the US administration. This is however understandable I guess, given Moore’s clear targeting of this movie at the US audience in the run up to the presidential elections.

Jo was also impressed by the film and judging by the box office sales here and in the US, we're not alone. Disney must be smarting right now.

Well apart from the 2 minutes in the middle that she snored through. This it must be stressed, was undoubtable due to the handful of cocktails and bottle of Rose we had unadvisedly supped in the 90 minutes preceding the film, rather than a reflection on the film itself.

Probably not the best preparation for a film of this ilk, but then we never were very good at planning nights out.

At least the night had some symmetry as we end the proceedings in a late night watering hole until we are thrown out to take our chances with the taxis.

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