CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

A 3 time RAZZIE Winner (Loser) "Farhenheit 911"

Leni Riefenstahl directed one of the most important documentaries in the 20th century, "Truimph de Willens" ("Triumph of the Will"). This documentary features the growth of the Third Reich starring Adolph Hitler as the heroic leader. Politics aside, "Triumph de Villens" is classic cinema that celebrates cinematic style over content. Rediscovered after the terrors of the holocaust, Riefenstahl's cinematic career was destroyed. This cinematic artist is now seen as the symbol of another artist duped by the societal conventions of the moment.

Since the 2000 Presidential Election, there has been a raw anger towards President Bush. Despite evidence towards the contrary, George Bush did win the state of Florida. Yet some many people refuse to accept this truth. Seizing this capitalistic opportunity, Michael Moore saw this opportunistic niche and exploited this anger. The marketing promotion for "Farhenheit 911" began during the Michael Moore’s Academy Awards tirade in March, 2003. As of Sunday, July 25 "Farhenheit 911" has earned a $103 million box office gross, despite receiving three times as much financial free publicity generated on all the major news networks, newspapers and this 4 night infomercial called the Democratic National Convention.

"Farhenheit 911" opens with Michael Moore’s perception of the 2000 election. After the credits, Moore narrates that President Bush was away on vacation during most of his 8 months in office. The truth is the President did perform work at his ranch in Crawford Texas. In August 2001, the President was formulating his first policies about embryonic stem cell research. The terrorists attacked on September 11th and killed nearly 3000 people. Michael Moore finds more fault with the Bush Administration than the terrorists.

Emotionally, this film is hard to watch; we see real grief - from the mothers, fathers and widows of our volunteer military service people. One has to be an emotional callus not to be moved by these people’s plight. We see the war wounded in Walter Reed Hospital, whose lives have been forever changed with fresh amputation of arms and legs.

Moore does understand the language of cinema. After the opening credits - the audience sits watching a black screen with the sounds of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Moore contrasts this with corporate seminars featuring Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former employer. Moore seems incensed that American corporations can gain to profit with the rebuilding of Iraq, yet Moore's Captain Ahab approach to President Bush blinds him from his own hypocrisy. Moore is profiting from the interviews he performed with the war victims. Moore feigns sympathy for the little man, the down trodden. Much in the way Al Capone created soup kitchens in Chicago to both feed the poor and help build loyalty with the homeless community.

Where was Michael Moore's investigating anger when the World Trade Center was first bombed in 1993? Or when the Clinton Administration bombed Osama Bin Laden chemical plant during Monica Lewinsky's testimony or when Iraq was bombed during William Jefferson Clinton's impeachment vote in December 1998? If one is able to look beyond Michael Moore’s visual arresting propaganda, one would see another Hollywood elitist hypocrite.

Despite Michael Moore's misguided paranoia about the Patriot Act, the release of "Farhenheit 911" proves that our first amendment freedoms are still safe. The fact that a movie as angry and inflammatory as "Fahrenheit 911" is being released during an election year shows how far this nation has grown emotionally since that tragic day. Thank you President Bush for creating an environment of politics as usual.
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