Bush vs. Moore
Fahrenheit 9/11
Review by Ross Anthony

Michael Moore is ornery. I'd read a few pages of one of his books a few years back; I liked the satire at first and his introduction to one of perhaps many "other sides" of the story. "The story" being the usual bite-size nightly news type tellings of political events. But frankly his whining style of writing got on my nerves and I could not finish that book. Then I saw "Columbine." Even though his style at times deviated sharply from what I consider to be honorable, the film was undeniably amusing, entertaining and worthwhile. His cantankerous method of shaking loose information seemingly "by any means possible" at times brought to surface some gems, but I still thought he didn't play fair as the guy with the camera and microphone.

In 911 he curbs his mean streak. That's not to say his satirical sense of humor has waned, nor does that mean he's presenting fair, balanced information. He most certainly is not. He's said himself that America has gotten enough of one side of the story in its normal news channels. He claims 911 is the balance to that. So, I knew that this would not be a "well-rounded" viewpoint. But I did hope that it would be informative. And I think it is. More, I was surprised to find it emotionally moving. His main focus, after all, is the war. And war is life and death: Life, death and injury. We know that cognitively, but (save for the friends and family of those lost) we don't live it. And though anecdotal (like TV news), Moore brings to us stories of the soldiers, of their families, of people who are in Iraq. We hear them talk for more than 10 seconds and what they say and feel makes us feel for them. Their words rock us into at least asking if Michael Moore might just have one true point.

He claims that all his factoids are indeed, factual. I do not know if they are. Nor do I know that the factoids I get from my government or local news are real. So I greatly appreciate the bravery of Moore to bring his particular set of facts to the public. Personally, I could do without all his snaring smart*ss voiceovers. It is not fair documentary filmmaking to suggest or guess what the subject of your film might be thinking. And further, to purposely mock them. That's certainly not fair. Some reviewers refuse to call this a documentary. I can see why they feel that way; on the other hand, this is actual footage of actual people with actual firsthand experience -- so it wouldn't be correct to say this is not a documentary. It's just that Moore isn't very concerned about being ethical in his documentary making. Ironically, it's probably that abhorrent manner that's garnished him such popularity; unfortunately, it'll be that attitude that will devalue the impact of the truths he's attempting to deliver.

But enough about Moore. The film opens with the assertion that George W. was elected via family connections from his brother the Governor of Florida to a cousin at Fox News. These facts should be easy to check; if they are indeed true, Moore's got a good case. I don't admit to know the truth.

From there, Moore links Bush to oil to Saudis to the Bin Laden family to the many personal reasons for Bush to actually want war with Iraq (9/11 being rather the least).

Unlike "Columbine," this film has a disciplined focus, an argument that stays one-sided throughout. You won't leave the theater wondering what Moore was trying to say. Clearly, he blames George W. for declaring an unfair war on a country that "Did not attack us and that had never threatened to attack us."

These are no small accusations. And quite frankly I'm very impressed to live in a country where Michael Moore is able to express these potentially dangerous opinions in such a large way. I'm proud to live in a country where I can go view these opinions without threat of harm or harassment. As Americans we probably too often take these rights for granted. I'm not at all sure that what this film presents is true, but I do think it is very important for Americans to exercise these cherishable rights and screen this film. Cuss about Moore being a butt-hole, agree, disagree, discuss it with your friends. But, what could be more important than finding out as much as possible about the reasons for which our brothers and sisters are dying?

  • Fahrenheit 9/11. Copyright © 2004. No Rating. 120 Minutes.
  • Directed by Michael Moore.
  • Screenplay by Michael Moore.
  • Produced by Kathleen Glynn, Jim Czarnecki at Dog Eat Dog Films and Wild Bunch.


Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:10:46 PDT