Saturday, June 26, 2004

Another review of the new documentary... whats it called?

I posted this over at the amazing new Edge of Allegiance blog, and thought I'd repeat it here:

Before every other blogger piped in and started discussing how wonderful "Fahrenheit 9/11" is, I thought I'd offer the only opinion that matters. That's my own, of course.

For the intelligent, well concerned citizen, there is little new here, nothing eye opening, only more of what we've read about in the news for past four years. All 9/11 really does is boils it all down to a two hour, Reader's Digest condensed version of how Michael Moore saw it all unfold... and does it well.

Its important to acknowledge that this is indeed Michael Moore's view - this isn't objective reporting by any means. Moore is, however, much less indulgent in taking quotes and other elements out of context than he was with Bowling for Columbine. But he still implies such inaccuracies as that the government didn't interview the Bin Laden family before allowing them to leave the country while all other flights were grounded - in reality, almost all family members were questioned before the Saudi exodus.

The film's real strengths lay in its "show don't tell" moments, letting the cameras roll on Bush and others unedited... he has businessman George W. Bush in 1982 saying to an interviewer that one of his great assets is having his father as President, and all he has to do sometimes is call dad to get things rolling. We're not learning anything new here, but see him so blatantly arrogant and proud of this is astounding.

What I find most interesting now are the Michael Moore naysayers. Michael Hitchens has a long, winded piece in Slate called Unfahrenheit 9/11: The Lies of Michael Moore, where he tries to call Moore out on assorted inaccuracies in the film. Ironically, Hitchen's article title itself is inaccurate, as nowhere in the article does he point out a lie that Moore had made. He mostly calls out mild inaccuracies, and perhaps questionable tactics or opinions. Pretty much what every other right wing critic of Moore's is grumbling about. Which again is ironic, because they get so steamed and upset over one filmmaker's assertations and manipulations in a two hour film, but can't seem to recognize it when it comes from our own President and his staff.

And all this, indeed, beside the point, since this is only a movie. Twenty minutes too long, but otherwise an entertaining film.

I'll rant more later about it.

For now, some links for shits and giggles:

Movie Goer Assaulted at Fahrenheit 9/11 Showing

"Michael Moore Hates America" - official movie web site