June 26, 2004

Fahrenheit 911, a Must-See Film

I just got back from seeing the movie and discussing it with friends. After tarrying too long to sign up with the McDermott or Inslee-sponsored showings in Seattle, we elected to see it locally in Bellevue. Fortunately, the Botega doubled the number of evening shows and we were able to get tickets. And a good thing too. Easily, the best film from Michael Moore yet. I wanted to experience the opening night crowd and hear what people were saying afterwards. Since most of us in attendance were of "the converted", I heard a lot of "he didn't say anything I didn't already know." That's not the point. If this film is going to have wide appeal, and every indication is that this is so (see Michael Moore's site), people who are curious will not know everything we know about the Bush Administration.

I've been looking for the event that will bring to critical mass the number of people that wake up to what the Administration is doing and decide to vote Bush out. The White House tapes was the defining event for Nixon in the Watergate hearings. I thought Abu Graebe would do it for Bush, but perhaps this film will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It's a very powerful movie and anyone who sees it cannot help but be influenced by the images and narrative.

I won't give anything else away about the film, but please do this for me. Go see the movie and post a comment on this thread. I would like to know what you thought about the movie in general, what points Moore was trying to make, whether you thought he was effective at getting the message(s) across and whether you think your average middle-of-the-road Independent/Republican (but with no axe to grind) voter would go to see it.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by Norman at June 26, 2004 10:38 AM | Entertainment | Technorati links |

Looks like you got around to posting about it before me. I went to the Inslee showing last night, just packed. The Neptune had fully sold out every seat, all day. This was the Seattle PI take on the event.

I don't have your same squeamishness about giving things away, though. I'll suggest that the two most gripping segments involve the old Iraqi woman cursing us out in front of the bombed out house of a relative, and Lila Lipscomb talking about the death of her son. In a film full of scenes designed to have an impact, and very well chosen on that account, when it comes to having a serious effect on people I think those two were defining.

Posted by: natasha at June 26, 2004 07:20 PM

I thought I knew everything, until I started to cry, something I never do
Moore's movie is supernatural.

Posted by: rita forsyth at June 26, 2004 08:18 PM

A man who works for the Kerry campaign locally was supposed to get up and talk to us after, and he was choked up. He said it brought back for him memories of waiting for brothers to come home from Vietnam. One did, one didn't. He said that he'd cried at least 5 times over the course of the movie.

Posted by: natasha at June 26, 2004 08:34 PM

It was a powerful film. There were parts that were magnificent (like the retelling the tale of how 9/11 affected Americans), some chilling (the awful pictures of war and the recruiting officers looking for fresh meat for their war machine), some information that was new to me (the footage of the Al Gore presiding over the death of his Presidency - and no Senator brave enough to contest the stolen election), and some heartbreaking (Lila Lipscomb and the weeping Iraqi women).

I do think the reasons behind the war were more complex than the story Moore told, but I think he did show the greed that drives the special interests and this should make some very angry. I hope that enough people that normally don't vote (especially the young) see this movie and get angry enough to go out and vote this time. This government deserves a real repudiation.

Posted by: Mary at June 26, 2004 10:25 PM

I agree with Natasha that the part with the Iraqi woman outside the house cursing was especially moving. The thing that's missing from the war in the US media is Iraq--the effect that the war is actually having on real people.

Posted by: Karlo at June 27, 2004 02:13 AM

Mary - I'd never known that none of the senators would sign off on the objections, either. A singularly infuriating point. But they got theirs. So did everyone else, but now they know what happens when you don't hang together.

Here's the thing: At the time, it never occurred to me to write or call one of my representatives (and I lived in an area where they were all Dems) to ask why the hell they weren't supporting the man who won the popular vote. So I have to blame myself, too. Because the small thing that I could have done, I didn't. And there's no such animal as a senator more courageous than the people that elected them.

Posted by: natasha at June 27, 2004 09:36 AM

Just saw the movie. My work schedule forced me to see it mid-day Sunday with beautiful weather. I expected an empty theater, but the place was pretty crowded. Good sign. I think the movie was very powerful, and you all have stated some of the best reasons above. I also agree with Natasha's last point. I have two Democratic Senators in my state and my Rep at the time was still a Democrat. Why didn't I write or call? I had no idea regarding the scene with Gore.

One thought struck me. It seemed that there were at least some people in the theater who were on the fence for November. I am guessing at this based on certain comments made after the movie and even things said during it. I suppose the best thing would be if this movie can change even one person's vote in each theater it is playing in even every other day.

Posted by: Scott at June 27, 2004 11:17 PM

It doesn't matter if it sold out it's first weekend to the converted. Part of that is because the converted are the most determined to see it on the first day. That's true of all big films--sci-fi or comic book films get mostly the geek crowd the first weekend. But that this movie sold out everywhere is going to generate curiousity. And then non-converted people will want to see it. And that it's making money will cause the distribution to expand, getting more butts in seats.

Posted by: Amanda at June 28, 2004 04:00 AM

I agree with Amanda, sure 90+% of the folks who saw it on openieng weekend were going to vote Dem anyway, but since it broke records, now the curious will want to see it too. Didn't that happen with Temptations of Christ?

I also agree with Natasha -- OK I agree with everyone! :-) The Iraqi woman's grief showed us that even non-Christians pray to God. And Lipscolm's pro-war stance gave credibility to the liberal cause: support our troops by pulling them out of harm's way, or how I like to say it: support our troops by not placing them in harm's way to begin with and impeach the CIC if he wantonly flings them into an unjust war.

Posted by: Norman at June 30, 2004 10:08 AM

Mr Moore has gone on record, many times, depicting the stupidity of the American people.
To prove his point, he makes a movie packed with lies and misrepresentations to influence the stupid people to vote. The proof is how the moviegoers seem to believe it.
Even Richard Clarke has said Moore,s main points were wrong and a mistake. No flights took off when US airspace was closed.
The Afghan pipeline idea was dead by 1996.
At least 5 independant studies found Bush won Florida.
And Mr. Moore, who's opinion includes the terrorists beheading civilians as revolutionaries, even cliams this movie is nothing more than an op-ed with no intentions of being fair representation. It hardly deserves documentary status.
You asked for opinions and these are mine, thanks.

Posted by: george at July 1, 2004 09:37 PM

This film is not reality. It distorts facts and information and does not tell the true story. When Bush speaks in the film, his words have been edited and clipped from different public speaking events. Moore misleads viewers by doing this. He is manipulating the truth. If anyone is smart, they will not base their votes strictly on this movie. People should research and find out for themselve what happened overseas. Please, open your eyes and think for yourselves. Isn't it ironic how the film came out the time of elections, and how Moore has contributed money to the Kerry campaign. Advice, go out and educate yourselfs, don't let a movie persuade your views.

Posted by: Tiffany at July 15, 2004 09:38 PM