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FAHRENHYPE 9/11

Review by Michael Jacobson

Narrator:  Ron Silver
Director:  Alan Peterson
Audio:  Dolby Stereo
Video:  Widescreen 1.78:1
Studio:  Savage Pictures
Features:  None
Length:  75 Minutes
Release Date:  October 5, 2004

“There is no terrorist threat.  THERE…IS…NO…TERRORIST…THREAT.  This is a lie.  This is the biggest lie we’ve been told.”Michael Moore

“Moore said to us, ‘You make too much of these deaths.’  I said to him, ‘3,000 people were murdered – how can you SAY THIS?!’”Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, Democrat

Film ***

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, even if you’re Michael Moore.  He crafted Fahrenheit 9/11 in an attempt to bully, browbeat and bend the American people to his will.  He made millions of dollars from his cult-like devotees, but made almost as many enemies out of those who saw past his lies, distortions and propaganda and who dedicated themselves to making sure America and the world knew the truth about this deceitful, hypocritical egomaniac.  With the film FahrenHYPE 9/11, they have boldly sought redress for some serious wrongs.

It’s bound to be dismissed by Moore and those who will never bother to see it as some Republican opinion machine, but they will have missed the number of Democrats who voiced their outrage.  Democrats like activist Ron Silver, who believes that putting politics ahead of national security is a recipe for destruction, or Georgia Senator Zell Miller, who openly thanks God that Bush was President on that fateful day, and not his fellow party member who narrowly missed the White House.  Former NYC mayor Ed Koch was “horrified” (his own words) to be on a panel discussion with Moore and to hear him say too much was being made of the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon.

In fact, the film opens with a Democrat speaking.  Gwen Tose-Rigell might not be as well known as the other aforementioned members of her party, but her words are just as eloquent and her place in 9/11 history particularly striking.  She was the principal of the second grade class who read to President Bush on the morning of the attack.  And ever since then, but particularly in the wake of Moore’s film, she has striven to set the record straight about the President’s actions of that morning. 

While Moore tried to portray a befuddled, helpless buffoon, she saw a dignified man who didn’t react rashly, who took a moment to collect his thoughts and gather himself (actually 5 minutes, not the 7 Moore claims, but that’s small pickings compared to some of his other distortions), and didn’t panic a roomful of children or leave a scared school teacher to try and explain the inexplicable to them.  It's a matter of two different interpretations, to be sure.  But she was really there, she states…Moore was not.  And though she voted for Al Gore, the actions of George W. Bush on that day convinced her he was the right man at the right time for the job.

Moore’s film is easy to pick apart…he knew those who followed him would accept his untruths and keep him rich, and didn’t care about those who wouldn’t.  It’s therefore kind of hard to give this movie full props; not a lot of work had to be done to blow Moore’s houses of cards over.  The Afghan pipeline theory (actually Bill Clinton’s pet, not Bush’s, but long abandoned in either case), the 2000 Florida vote, the fake headline of an actual newspaper The Pantagraph…it’s like watching the New England Patriots playing an elementary school football team…it’s such an easy slaughter, it seems almost cruel to enjoy it.

Pundits like former advisor to President Clinton Dick Morris, Ann Coulter, Dave Kopel and others weigh in, not just against Moore, but in favor of the war on terror, and why the Iraqi invasion was essential to the security of the world.  Ron Silver, who both narrates and appears on camera, makes a comparison of the Moore crowd of today with the Charles Lindbergh crowd of the 30s, who rallied Americans to join them in opposing U.S. intervention in Nazi Germany in 1937.  Had we entered the war then instead of 1945, how much destruction could have been averted and how many millions of lives might have been saved?  Though a Gore campaigner and outspoken Democrat, Silver believes Bush’s actions are equivocal to entering the war in 1937 instead of waiting until 1945.

The film concludes with a striking segment that both angers and saddens, and features people who will be familiar to those who watched Moore’s movie.  They are the Americans who appeared in Fahrenheit 9/11 and who never gave their consent to be in it.  There is a soldier who lost his arms in Iraq, who was interviewed by someone other than Moore (he never had the courage to show up there and do his own dirty work) about his phantom pains, and was later surprised to see himself in a segment of the movie declaring how bitter and hopeless the soldiers felt.  He’s very adamant that he felt nor feels neither.

Another woman was shown in Moore’s film grieving over the coffin of her nephew and used to depict how awful it was that he died for no good reason.  She’s glad to set the record straight…her nephew loved his country, believed in the action, and did NOT sacrifice himself in vain.  Another family cries openly at how hurt they were that Moore used the loss of their loved one for his own propagation, and how they feel a patriotic hero’s memory has been forever besmirched by a man who never even had the courtesy to ask “do you want to be in my film?”

Moore has always been willing to exploit the hardships of others to make his fame and fortune, and has gotten away with it for years.  I doubt FahrenHYPE 9/11 will achieve anywhere near the same level of success that his movie did, if for no other reason than the rabid media and Hollywood elitists won’t throw their weight, their money, or their film prizes its way.  But just the fact that it exists is comforting.  The mightiest tapestries can be unwoven…pulling a single thread is the start.

Video **

Pretty standard documentary stuff…a mix of film clips from various sources and video.  Nothing particularly striking about the quality either way.

Audio **

It’s pretty much an all dialogue movie, so the only question is, are the spoken words clean and clear?  Yes.  Perfectly suitable, nothing more or less.

Features (zero stars)

Nothing.

Summary:

Michael Moore declared everyone in America should see his movie.  My more modest declaration is everyone who sees HIS film should also see FahrenHYPE 9/11. 

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