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Fahrenheit 9/11

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Fahrenheit 9/11

Starring: Michael Moore
Director: Michael Moore
Rated: R
RunTime: 112 Minutes
Release Date: June 2004
Genre: Documentary

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

Although Oscar-winning Michael Moore's incendiary new film fits into the documentary genre, it's really agit-prop - and whether you'll like it or not probably depends on whether you're opposed to President George W. Bush or one of his supporters. Moore's rabble-rousing agenda leaves no room for historical context, an analysis of facts or debate. It's a brilliant blame game.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is a scathing political attack that begins with shocking footage of how our President, a vacant, confused look on his face, sat in a kindergarten class in Florida, reading "My Pet Goat," for seven long minutes after being told that America was under attack on Sept. 11th.

While Moore refers to murky connections between the Bush and bin Laden families and cites Craig Unger who wrote "House of Bush, House of Saud," he catapults the viewer into the grim, sordid reality of war, showing dying Americans and Iraqis, and speaking with a few of the 4,000+ casualties at US hospitals who feel betrayed. A sequence involving US troops ridiculing hooded detainees near Samara parallels the sexual humiliations that occurred at Abu Ghraib at the same time. Finally, there's grief-stricken Lila Lipscomb reading a letter from her son, Sgt. Michael Pedersen, who was killed in Iraq, noting: "He got us here for nothing whatsoever."

Much of this information is not new. It's simply packaged in such a compelling way that it ignites controversy and provokes discussions about its implications. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, which measures how well a movie succeeds it what it set out to do (i.e.: a thriller, a comedy, a drama), "Fahrenheit 9/11" is an angry 8, although its real effectiveness as muckraking propaganda may be reflected by the outcome of the November elections.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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