Jean-Luc Godard once famously said, “Every edit is a political act.” But
Godard’s denunciation of Fahrenheit 9/11 was ignored by a U.S. media fawning
over its Cannes victory (the latest Harvey Weinstein promotional stunt,
facilitated by stooge Quentin). No major American media outlets quoted
Godard: “Moore doesn’t distinguish between text and image. He doesn’t know
what he’s doing.”
From the New York Times-
FILM OF THE FASCIST LIBERAL
Michael Moore mistakes image for message, panders, gloats.
By Armond White
I saw “Fahrenheit 9-11” yesterday and have some ambivalent reactions.
This is not a work that explores and subtly teases apart an incredibly esoteric and complicated subject (the cause of violence in America) like “Bowling for Columbine” did (which I consider to be an almost flawless film).
This is a simple frontal assault on the Bush administration’s foreign and domestic policy since the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon. It is also an insultingly clumsy attempt at marketing a propaganda film as a “documentary”.
First, the bad news:
1. It will be very easy for Bush supporters to write this off as left-wing hysteria because of its relative lack of objectivity.
2. Although, to it’s credit “…9-11″ shows the Democrats in the Congress and Senate to be guilty for their hands in these same policy decisions, Moore is far too light on them and it hurts his film badly. Those of you who know me and/or have been reading this blog know that it is my contention (sorry if I am being cynical) that replacing Bush with fellow Bonesman Kerry will do little to change the Forever War or repeal the (anti)Patriot Act.
3. He totally ignores the PNAC and the greater arguments that the Bush administration’s supposed negligence to respond to the deluge of warnings of imminent terrorist attack before 9-11, can easily be seen as complicity in allowing the attacks to happen in order to provide the perfect opportunity to roll out the black carpet for a bit of the old boot-in-the-face. I won’t even start to talk about the idea of cooperation…
Now the good news:
1. Of course this movie is totally hilarious. There is nothing more powerful in social and political discourse than the ability to couch a fist in a spoonful of sugar. When it comes to waking people up out of their consumer slumber to the dark reality of life in America, Michael is a master and he has lost nothing when it comes to his ability to deliver a side-splitting body blow.
2. His editing and use of sound (and silence) and music in this film are at a new high and reminded me of that other American Master Martin Scorsese at times. Well done.
3. Moore’s ability to capture the divine, the virtuous and the noble in the lives of the working class people of his beloved Flint, Michigan
continues to move us as it has in all of his films. Moore is really the closest thing we have to a Studs Terkel in the medium of film and I for one salute his care and commitment to his community in documenting their tragedies and triumphs alike.
4. Although much of the information in this film is not news to those of us who are actively tracking The Evil Men Do in Washington DC, it is not really a part of mainstream discourse and certainly never shows up on the evening news. The fact that it’s been stitched together and is now rising to life in sold out theatres around the world is definitely a great thing. In 2001 when I would mention the fact that Afghanistan was being bombed in order to get a gas pipeline that had been nixed by the Taliban back on track people looked at me like I was David Duchovny on DMT.
Overall Grade: B – and thanks to Michael Moore for another infuriating, entertaining, flawed, clawed, mess of a movie.
That’s it for now.
I got a “War on a War on Terror” to fight!
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Only the humble sacrifice their own needs for the needs of their brothers and sisters in all nations.
Be humble in your sleepy hands on this world.
Be a Killer in Heaven.
All power to the people.