Tonight I went and saw Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. If there's one movie to watch this year, this has gotta be the one.
I don't think you can watch the film without various emotions swelling in you. I felt amazed, horrified, angry, sad and ashamed. He paints a devasting portrayal of Bush, the American system and the tragedy of the Iraq war. But I was ready to agree with him before the film started.
Thinking about how the film was constructed, I do feel he dwells too much on emotive footage rather than constructing and backing up his arguement. Maybe too many facts would clutter the basic message and detract from evoking emotions from the audience. It's certainly effective as a technique to raise questions and doubts in the mind of the viewer of the status quo.
Is the film manipulative? I don't think it's any more manipulative than regular TV. Media is manipulative. Every media effects the message that it conveys and one needs to read the media as well as the message. Moore does exploit the emotive power of film to make his point.
For another point of view, you can read the right wing anti-Moore site MooreWatch. Here's also a touching interview with Lila Lipscomb.
I'm particularly grateful that Michael Moore's films have proven that there is a commercially viable market for documentaries. Most TV documentaries are so bland and stick to safe boring topics. I would gladly pay the cost of a cinema ticket to see a truly revealing documentary. Let's hope for more.
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