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Fahrenheit 9/11

A very involving, entertaining if "manipulative", "slanted" and at times sentimental documentary.

Fahrenheit 9/11
Fahrenheit 9/11
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Starring: George Bush, Al Gore, Saddam Hussein etc. etc.
Director: Michael Moore
Rating: ***


How can Fahrenheit 9/11, the most controversial film (unofficially) of 2004, not be on anyone's must-see list? After calling Bush a "fictitious President" at the Oscar acceptance speech, Moore takes on Bush and his policies with absolutely no holds barred. Result: a very involving, entertaining if "manipulative", "slanted" and at times sentimental documentary.

You'd love or hate this film depending on your political allegiance but can't remain indifferent to its audacity. A vitriolic critique of the Bush administration in post-9/11 America and the uneasy linkages with the Saudis. That 15 of the 19 responsible for the catastrophe were Saudis, that Saudi money is supposed to have funded Al Qaeda and yet no probe was conducted into these crucial aspects. All this may not be something Americans didn't know of, Moore may not have unearthed great new facts here but it's the way he puts across issues that works. He is quirky, pugnacious, provocative and hence very watchable.

Much of the film is jokey and mischievous in spirit, quite like the manipulated image of Moore and Bush holding hands. Bush comes across as a mouse, one who'd be on holiday 40 per cent of the time. Moore juxtaposes scenes and images—his characteristic way of driving home a point. So you have some brilliant moments: Bush ranting against terrorism and then asking the media to admire his golf shot. The Bush administration declaring that Iraq had no weapons in 2001 and then countering its own statement a year later. Or the wonderful scene of the Bush boys fixing their hair before facing the TV cameras. There are some overstretched, mawkish moments as well. Like the grieving mother of a soldier calling White House a place to release her pain.

In all, Fahrenheit 9/11 is a great counterpoint to the Fox News brand of propaganda. It's also a crusade in its own way and some may fret at Moore emerging as the poster boy for dissent but fact remains that he is able to talk to more than just the converted. In fact, a rightwing film festival was held to counter his might. The film is also crucial in how it has helped bring documentary cinema into the main frame. It leads this year's successful documentaries—UK's Touching the Void, France's Etre Et Avoir and US's Supersize Me. For a more sophisticated subversion of American imperialism, wait for Errol Morris' The Fog of War.


Indian Top 5
1. Balle Balle! Amritsar To LA
2. Dhoom
3. Tauba Tauba
4. Shukriya
5. Wajahh

US Top 5
1. Shark Tale
2. Friday Night Lights
3. Ladder 49
4. Taxi
5. The Forgotten

Courtesy: Film Information

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