Fahrenheit 9/11 JUN 24 2004
The film, while entertaining -- very funny in parts and at times powerfully moving -- was ultimately disappointing for me. Whether Moore intended it to or not (not quite sure what Moore wants these days...he's plays his cards close to his chest in that regard), this film is not meant to change your mind or sway opinion. It's meant to rally the troops, and it does so well. Fahrenheit 9/11 is ultimately about Michael Moore's view of the world, which is what makes it so entertaining, pleasing to Moore fans, but also what limits its potential.
During the last half of the movie, I thought more than once about The Fog of War, Errol Morris' excellent documentary on Robert McNamara, and how Morris would have done the film. Or how Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) would have. You certainly can't remove opinion from a documentary, but with Fog and Friedmans, you get a sense of what the filmmakers' opinions are and how they affect the way the story is told. And as with anything in life, you find your own truth in the films based on what you think that bias might be. But Fahrenheit 9/11 is so much about Michael Moore's opinion that it's difficult to go through that process of finding the truth. The frustrating thing is that Moore has a point, but he's unable to get himself out of the way enough to tell us the story so we can make up our own minds about it. One of the charges leveled against Bush -- and probably every other politician in the US -- is that he's constantly putting spin on everything to obscure or manipulate the truth. I can't help but think that Moore is doing exactly the same thing in the opposite direction.