View Full Version : Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

06-11-2004, 10:52 PM
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) produced and directed by Michael Moore is coming to America finally (June 25th) now that it's movie rights have been purchased back from Disney who refused to release it. As a documentary in this important election year where the public will be voting for the U.S. President, information regarding one of the most significant events dealing with foreign affairs and has impacted most of America would be invaluable for voters in selecting who they want to lead their country. I for one am glad to have an opportunity to see for myself what all the fuss is about.

06-13-2004, 07:41 AM
It's confirmed it'll be opening here on the 25th. One theater only, but that's better than nothing.

I'm curious how Moore has created a film that seems to bring together the 9/11 attacks, the Bush family relationship with the Saudi royal family, and the war in Iraq. Not sure what exactly he's out to prove here other than to punch a hole in the myth the Bush Administration is trying to create. I know that Bin Laden had several extended family members living in the U.S. on 9/11/01, and the U.S. Government helped them out of the country that day, but I don't see what's particularly controversial about that. Surely they would have been subject to attacks and threats if they had remained here. But, the documentary should present a new view on the war and events in Iraq, one that we didn't necessarily see on CNN, MSNBC, or the networks, and that indeed should be valuable this election season.

Did you know that Moore had footage of an interview with Nicholas Berg, several months before he was beheaded? He's given the footage to Berg's family and it's (thankfully) not included in the film itself.

06-14-2004, 01:03 AM
I tagged some news on 9/11 at the end of the Cannes posting. Weinstein in the interview on Sunday said they just finished cutting the film a few days ago because they wanted to add the most current statistics on deaths in Irag to the end of the film. The interview took place Sunday on AMC with Peter Gruber. I wrote more details on the other posting (see Cannes 2004). Weinstein was saying that the film was going to be released in late July or early August. I did not hear him mention the film being released June 25th, although they might be able to make enough prints by then or this interview may have been taped a week or so ago. At any rate, after listening to the interview, I am more excited than ever to see this movie than any release coming out this year. We've got to make it one of the top posts of the year.

06-17-2004, 08:37 PM
I couldn't be more wrong if I tried. The film will be released next friday and the far right is gearing up to destroy this film before it's even released. ABC News tonight villified the film as "left wing propoganda" aimed at embarrassing the President. So much for the liberal bias of the news media. Seems Disney controls a little too much of the ABC News division. At least NBC gave a it a more measured response with a preview show on Dateline either tonight or tomorrow.

06-17-2004, 09:54 PM
I've randomly stumbled upon two different episodes of "Scarborough Country" on MSNBC, where this guy (Mr. Scarborough) has been talking about Michael Moore's "history of lies". That's been the theme of the program, though they've ostensibly been talking about the film itself. Liberal media, OK. What they're trying to do is dismiss the film and the filmmaker with sarcasm, pushing Moore to the fringe and keeping him away from the mainstream. The worst thing they could do, probably, is objectively debate the merits of the film, because that would lend it credence.

06-25-2004, 06:12 PM
There was a carefully laid out network plan this evening to build up President Bush in news articles broadcast on ABC and NBC as well as (say it isn't true) PBS (News Hour) followed by so called experts pointing out inaccuracies in Moore's new film being released today. It was the worst sham of journalism I can recall witnessing. To further sweeten the pot for Bush, NBC even said, "John Kerry is attempting to lose his liberal bias... trying to make himself look more middle of the road to voters in the hopes of taking away votes President Bush easily maintains with his present stands." What is going on with NBC? It's becoming more right wing than FOX! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I just read the New Yorker review and it didn't sound anything like the horror the "unbiased" reporters were making of the film. This is a sad day for the Republican owned media (NBC, ABC, FOX, and now it looks like PBS) if they think they can convince us all that fool of a president is worth re-election.... period. Television sucks.

oscar jubis
06-26-2004, 01:06 AM
I urge everyone who objects to the wrongheaded policies of the Bush administration to go watch Fahrenheit 9/11 at theatres this weekend. It will resonate as an act of protest. Variety magazine just estimated box office take for Friday at between 6 and $8 million. It's totally unprecedented for a doc to reach so many people.
Yes, television sucks. The whole Media establishment has failed to confront and expose all the Bushit we're being fed. PBS and The New York Times have been dormant, if not complicit.
Let's pack the theatres this weekend!

06-26-2004, 07:33 PM
I heard that the doc broke opening day records at two NY theaters. Given the ripple effect that "opening weekends" can have, that sounds pretty good.

Im looking forward to getting in to see this one as soon as possible. I like the idea that attending, and pumping up the weekend gross means that more people could see the film. Finally, some benefit from the whole "opening weekend gross" thing.


06-26-2004, 10:37 PM
and this from the NY Times - George Butler who made "Pumping Iron" way back when (the Arnold Schwarzenneger doc) is making a documentary about the life of John Kerry to be released in September of this year. It's really amazing to see all of these films come out with the potential to impact the political spectrum. On the other side of the spectrum I believe there is a movie coming out that derides Michael Moore's filmmaking methods ("Michael Moore Hates America" or something to that end...)

06-27-2004, 07:37 PM
According to some data in the Times, the movie grossed 21-million over the weekend ahead of Dodgeball, The Terminal, Harry Potter, White Chicks and some others! All of this in a mere 868 theaters. There are some nice pictures and comments from people around the country at Michael Moore's site (http://www.michaelmoore.com/)


06-28-2004, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by JustaFied
I know that Bin Laden had several extended family members living in the U.S. on 9/11/01, and the U.S. Government helped them out of the country that day, but I don't see what's particularly controversial about that. Surely they would have been subject to attacks and threats if they had remained here.

Well, the controversy arises in the timing of the action and the action itself. As the shit hit the fan, they seemed pretty sure about who was behind it. Amazing considering that they claim they had no idea it was coming down. Rounding up the prime suspect's family members and taking them to... where? when all aircraft are supposed to be grounded? If they were so sure that this guy was responsible, they should have detained the family members for questioning and tried to find his wareabouts.
Instead, they're getting the royal treatment.

I'm going to see the film tonight and I'll be sure to chime in here with my impressions. Right now, as I understand it, the "between the lines" in this film is that the whole event (911) was staged for political purposes.

Aside: Many are critical of Micheal Moore's work, and rightfully so. He's expanded documentary film making to include many incidences of questionable editing, and misleading cuts, etc.
However, Moore has never been sued for any of his work. That's surprising considering that this is America.

06-30-2004, 11:33 AM
Goddamnit, Man! Who let Michael Moore loose with that much ammo? I’ve never seen a more inflammatory movie in my life. Gruesome images of a war’s aftermath. A mother reading he last letter that she got from a son who isn’t coming home from Iraq. Movies don’t usually make me cry.
Much has been made about Moore’s doc style, his creative editing and unmitigated, head on confrontation with particularly ugly inconsistencies. Many have accused him of twisting information and even flat out lying.
This is America. It shouldn’t be long now before one of these passionate, “patriots” who insist that “Michael Moore Hates America” steps up to the plate and does the American thing: Sue the bastard. Hell, the sonavabitch has got some serious money, and it’s rolling in by the boatload right now. The film certainly paints Bush in a bad light, maybe he’ll be the first to throw down a libel and defamation suit. It should be a slam dunk: the evidence is in wide release across the country.

I doubt that F911 was a difficult film to make. Shit, the story writes itself. The CSPAN pictures of the voice of the people being effectively told to shut the fuck up provided exciting Cinderella undertones and The President was unparalleled comic relief. Moore just had to cut it all together in an entertaining way that drices home a point and certainly defies convention for the genre. Now, in 2004, it seems that it’s the only way to get across to people.

In 2002, Michael Rupert published a documentary about the 911 attacks called ‘the truth and lies of 911’. It was an account of factual information presented in a classic documentary style. The movie was not meant for entertainment value, and did not gain any theatre release or distribution. Of course, the film was ignored.
Moore’s film, only days after a very limited release, has made an impact. Mainstream media can’t get away with not discussing the number one box office draw over the weekend, and discuss they have. There’s no such thing as bad press for a controversial movie. Eventually, The President will have to comment.

So: as a self confessed gambling recidivist, I’m forced to determine the impact that this will have on my perspective wagers.
Oddchecker.com is still giving 2:1 on the Democratic candidate to win and just over 1.5:1 on the Republican. Pinnacle Sports is giving the same sort of lines on the Electoral vote in the State of Florida and an interesting over/under on the senate.
This fascinates me. Despite an obviously damaging film being the hottest topic since Janet Jackson’s right tit, the odds haven’t changed. Do the oddsmakers know something that we don’t? Hardly. The facts speak for themselves.
Jeb Bush is still the Governor of Florida. Despite loosing the election last time around, George Bush became president based on the Florida Vote. You can’t win a game that’s fixed – the gambling community knows that better than anyone.


07-04-2004, 09:00 PM
This movie while entertaining and disturbing appeared to be less than polished when compared to other of Michael Moore's efforts. The decision to rush this documentary in order to meet the Cannes Film Festival deadline places a director of a documentary at a rather difficult point. I imagine that a documentary's impact on an audience is in some measure to move it and to make a difference on those watching - what more accolades can a movie director obtain and if Mr. Moore does in some way impact the United States' Presidential elections this fall, it would be height of documentary stature.

Between the humor, the usual of Mr. Moores' antics and clever connections, the movie was more boring and inconsistent in its timing and delivery. Yet the emotional punch, the visceral pain and realism of some of the pictures and sounds hit to the core of documentary - portrayal, slice of real life from the director's point of view.

I imagine though the Mr. Moore must have been under pressure to sacrifice some of his usual integrity to make a great, fantastic documentary in order to make an acceptable, deliverable, and adequate documentary that would resonate enough with its audience to make a difference, the most difference that a better documentary might have missed the precious release dates and become a footnote in documentary history.

07-04-2004, 11:14 PM
To address a couple of points discussed here and on the other thread:

1) tabuno, I'm not sure how Moore sacrificed any of his "usual integrity" in releasing the film at this time. Just because the film is released at a time when the conflict is still ongoing doesn't mean he's compromising his artistic or journalistic integrity in any way. Much of the center of the film revolves around the response to 9/11, which was almost three years ago now. I think it's very important now to delve into the cause, effect, and aftermath of the events of that day. It will also be important to look back in another 5-10 years to see the effect of these events on the tenuous stability in the Middle East.

2) I find it humorous that anduril is decrying the film as "propoganda", while seemingly turning a blind eye to the lack of truthfulness and objectivity coming from the American media and the Bush Administration. Maybe the Canadian media isn't as nauseating as its U.S. counterpart, so you can't fully understand how refreshing it is to see another viewpoint being put out in the mainstream here. Sure, everything is not part of a giant conspiracy, but at the same time you're naive if you're taking what they say at face value.

3) Flying out the Bin Laden family: I still disagree with Moore's apparant assertion (or insinuation) that this somehow impaired the search for Bin Laden himself. This is a good example of Moore getting carried away and sensationalizing a particular topic. Bin Laden had many years before disassociated himself from his family, and he was well known enough so that I'm sure extensive background checks had been performed on his family members living in the U.S. It's irresponsible to insinuate that one or more of these family members knew his whereabouts unless Moore can bring forward more specific details of such knowledge.

4) The scenes of Bush still reading to the kids on the morning of 9/11, after being told of the attacks, was eery. What was going through his mind at that time? Was he trying to keep the kids calm? He looked frozen with indecision, as if he was simply waiting for his advisors to tell him what to do and how to respond.

This film is showing at 20 different theaters here, which is amazing particularly given that this is the heart of Bush country. The audience clapped enthusiastically at the end at the screening I went to. And I love the Neil Young song at the end ("Keep on Rockin' in the Free World").

07-05-2004, 01:02 AM
Originally posted by JustaFied
2) I find it humorous that anduril is decrying the film as "propoganda", while seemingly turning a blind eye to the lack of truthfulness and objectivity coming from the American media and the Bush Administration. Maybe the Canadian media isn't as nauseating as its U.S. counterpart, so you can't fully understand how refreshing it is to see another viewpoint being put out in the mainstream here. Sure, everything is not part of a giant conspiracy, but at the same time you're naive if you're taking what they say at face value.
JustaFied, contrary to your opinion, I'm not turning a blind eye to the problems with media. I was, however, remaining focused on the arguments presented by Raoul and Johann.

In my eight points to justify the Iraq war, you'll notice that I have culled documents and sources from a wide variety of sources, mostly primary sources, and only a couple secondary sources from the media and trustworthy research institutes. I think this demonstrates my opinion of the media. I don't base my opinions exclusively or even primarily on what they present to me. I conduct my own research and, thanks to the Internet, it is actually remarkably easy to do!

BTW, the Canadian television media is even more left-wing than the big guys, like CNN and NBC, down in the States. At least, FOX provides the counter-pitch in the States. We don't have home grown right-wing stations in Canada. For television media, I watch a wide variety, though I stick primarily with CBC (Canadian), CTV (Canadian), BBC (British), and CNN. I've grown accustomed to listening for facts and ignoring spin; it's just part and parcel with watching the news nowadays.

07-05-2004, 08:34 AM
Anduril, first of all, your "eight points" in support of the war is very well-written and researched, and I agree with much of what you say. Michael Moore does tend to simplify things and present only one side of the argument; I think he intentionally tries to be inflamatory sometimes (all the time?) in order to promote dialogue. In that sense, as has been pointed out in several reviews, he's not being particularly faithful in his attempts to create a true documentary. But his films, at their best, provide another much needed source of information for mainstream audiences to form opinions about their elected policymakers.

Any insinuations in F911 that the Saudi government was directly involved in the terrorist attacks or that the Bush Administration had advanced knowledge is bogus. That's the stuff of conspiracy theories. But the film does a good job of detailing the extensive relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi royal family, and it's certainly enough to make one uneasy. On the morning of 9/11, the Carlyle Group, a group of ultra-rich investors including G.H.W. Bush and Bin Laden's half-brother, was meeting in Washington D.C. As Moore points out, these guys aren't out to rule the world per se, they just want to make loads of money. And, they're heavily invested in defense companies, so the ensuing war escalations benefited them greatly. Indirectly, Bin Laden made his half-brother a much, much richer man. That's not the stuff of conspiracy theories, but it's still discomforting. Also, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, and we weren't allowed to interview their families after the attacks. I'm glad to see these facts pointed out in the film.

I don't believe the one true intention of the Bush Administration was to invade Iraq to capture its economic spoils. That's simplistic. As you point out, there was also the hope that the "liberation" of Iraq would have a "domino effect" throughout the Middle East. That's something that's going to take years to see. The tenuous stability in the region is in large part a result of the corrupt, autocratic, and hypocritical regimes there. Reform, or a move towards democratization, in the region can be seen as an important step towards promoting stability there and bringing peace to the rest of the world. The biggest concern I had was whether such need for reform required the out-and-out invasion of the Iraq, including the "shock and awe" bombing campaign. That seemed to do more harm than good.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administation has not been honest with us in its justification for the war. The initial justification to invade was based on an "immediate threat" due to Saddam's WMD. Nothing was found; you say that he possibly had time to move everything to Syria. That still doesn't explain the claim made by Bush (based on British intelligence) that Iraq had imported high-grade uranium from Niger. This turned out to be a fabricated fact. The Bush Administration had several opportunities to refute this information and they didn't do so. Bush included it in his 2003 State of the Union address as one of the reasons why it was immediately necessary to invade Iraq. So, you can see the cynicism towards Bush & Co. and the lack of trust in what they say?

I don't know how you can think the American news organizations are "liberal", whatever that means. I think they're so sterile and timid, due to business interests of their parent companies, that they completely miss out on their journalistic opportuntities (and obligations). Unfortunately, it's come to the point where only Michael Moore is providing the mainstream audience with these images they can't find elsewhere.

07-05-2004, 07:30 PM
RE: Your second paragraph... sure, it might be a little discomforting but, on the whole, it does nothing to argue against the war in Iraq. It might be a reason to lament the imperfections of capitalism or the sins of greed that make it turn; or, perhaps that money plays such a key role in the American politics. But, that's about it. It's no argument against the Iraqi war or the war on terrorism and certainly should not give Americans a reason to take Kerry over Bush; the former just as much caught up in the world of the rich and richer.

The Bush administration did make errors in its argument to the world and the American people. Some of these errors involved overstatement, mis-statement, and, also, poor or outright faulty intelligence. Incidentally, the initial justification for war was regime change not WMD. It became WMD once Colin Powell and Tony Blair had convinced Bush to seek a second resolution at the U.N., which initially Bush, under the advice of Cheney and Rumsfeldt, had not wanted to do. In any case, Colin Powell's evidence, presented to the U.N., while containing some intelligence errors, has largely been corroborated by David's Kay report and the ongoing work of Iraqi Survey Group under Charles Duelfer; certainly the connections between Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda are also confirmed. I provide links to this information in my eight points post in the "Eve of Destruction" thread.

RE: Your last paragraph... I agree with everything but the last sentence, though I stand by my claim that they have tendency to swing to the left.

07-05-2004, 10:33 PM
Unlike for Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) was not as tight nor as polished - it was boring in places and didn't quite have the consistent pacing that Bowling for Columbine...thus in my mind, Michael Moore sacrificed some integrity of production values in order to get this movie out in time for the Canne's Film Festival.

07-06-2004, 09:22 PM
To continue on this thread as well...

The big question I have now, as has been discussed here, is how the events in Iraq will affect the future of the Middle East. Will "democracy" in Iraq cause the other autocratic regimes in the region to falter or implode, as the neo-cons in America believe? Will the "shock and awe" of the U.S. bombardment instead cause a groundswell of anti-American sentiment that will bolster Islamic fundamentalism?

Long, in-depth article in the latest New Yorker about events in Egypt. Definitely worth reading if you're interested in this area:

In Mubarak’s Egypt, democracy is an idea whose time has not yet come.

07-06-2004, 09:28 PM
It is a big question... we'll have to see but don't expect it to happen tomorrow. These things take time. As Paul Bremer recently commented, "People forget it took us 12 years to write our own Constitution. It wasn't very pretty around here between 1776 and 1787."

Thanks for the link.

07-06-2004, 09:57 PM
It certainly will take time. Another thing I'm wondering is how safe it is to travel in Islamic countries now as an American. I went to Morocco as a teenager, went shopping in the bazaar in Fez. Not sure I would want to wander into that market now. Kinda sad, really. Possibly Egypt is safe, they realize the continuing importance of the tourism money. I think I'll be staying out of Iraq for a few years...

07-06-2004, 10:44 PM
Its all relative. Certainly, travelling in the Mid-East is not as safe as Europe. But, really, its not that bad even in Iraq. How many of the Americans presently in that country who are not wearing an army uniform have been killed? Maybe 1%. I'd bet that's even a high figure.