Jake Gordon

Fahrenheit 9/11 - good, but nothing new

13 July 2004

So I watched Michael Moore’s new film before my brother by downloading it (see my previous post if you’ve come here to download it from Google). Apologies for my poor spelling - it should be fahrenheit rather than fahrenheight (but similar poor spelling may explain why soem of you just got here from Google).

Anyway, the film was good - very good - but to me at least it was nothing new. I know all the issues Michael talks about from various books and websites I’ve read before. But the important thing about this film is that it puts all that information into an enjoyable format for the mainstream to digest - something which can’t currently be achieved on such a massive using alternative websites and books. So hopefully, the film will make a difference in the upcoming US elections.

But as much as I love Michael Moore’s stuff - I’ve read most his books and watched most of his films/documentaries - there are some areas where I think he needs a bit of self-reflection and thought. To begin with, he’s too American - I would suggest a more cosmopolitan approach, calling himself a world-citizen rather than an American. He talks about pride in America etc. but I think it would be better to talk about pride in humanity or the world. My second criticism is that he often skips important facts in order to score points. For example in Farheneit 9/11 he talks about the countries in the ‘coalition of the willing’ in order to make a joke: that the US is basically alone, with only small irrelevant countries joining it. Although he never explicitly states so, those watching the film are lead to believe that they’re given a full list of countries in this coalition… but never is the UK and other large coalition countries mentioned in that list. I find that inexcusable - he could have made his point just as well by adding at the end “oh yeah, well the UK etc. are also in the coalition”. Makes me wonder about some of the other points he’s made in the past and their accuracy. Omitting something relevant can be just as bad as lying.

Oh, and just to point out that the bittorrent file I linked to in my last post works great but do be warned that its a camcorder-in-a-cinema version of the film. Quite watchable though.

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