Monday, April 16, 2007

Revisiting "Fahrenheit 9/11"

I'm still settling into my new apartment. A large shipment of my stuff arrived last week and I spent a lot of this weekend unpacking.

I don't have cable at the new place yet, so just to have a little background noise I began playing some of my old movies on DVD. The fourth or fifth disk I played was "Fahrenheit 9/11," a movie I had not seen since early in 2005. It's held up remarkably well.

I had mixed feelings about the movie when I first saw it in the summer of 2004. I agreed with most of what Moore had to say in principle, but I felt like his mode of delivery made it too easy for right-wing ideologues to dismiss Moore's claims as the ravings of some nutty left-winger.

Of course, since that time we've learned that his reporting on the growing violence in Iraq and the corrupt nature of the Bush administration's "reconstruction" of Iraq fell far short of reality. An entire shelf of documentaries could be made on the subject of corrupt contractors and the waste and fraud of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

I still think Moore's stunts, like driving around Capitol Hill in a sound van reading the Patriot Act, cheapened his overall message and caused his movie to have less of an impact than it might have otherwise had. Nevertheless, in light of what we've seen since the 2004 elections, Moore begins to take on the appearance of a mad prophet, the kind of figure from the Old Testament who wandered the streets of Jerusalem thundering against the sinfulness of the people.

Take a couple hours this week and watch "Fahrenheit 9/11" one more time. I'd be interested in hearing your reaction.

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

I recently watched it again and had much the same reaction as you ... Moore's stunts did indeed take away from the overall effect of the movie, and his actions in public just made him an easy target for people who had no desire at all to hear his message ... Even so, it is a chilling omen of what we're going through now