Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Tuesday nights at the cinema are cheap, so I've decided to make Tuesday night movie night.

I think there are two types of conspiracy theory:

1. Ones driven by the evidence.

2. Ones driven by holes in the evidence.

Although there are some thought-provoking theories out there about the awful September 11th attacks, I'm afraid that Fahrenheit 9/11 falls more into the latter camp.

And, fairly, I guess the film is less of a conspiracy theory, and more of a flat outright character assassination.

Documentary-maker Michael Moore has some circumstantial evidence against Bush, but he has to work so hard to mould it into a case that you get the impression he might have been better off abandoning this angle and finding a new one.

It's certainly a quite entertaining piece of propaganda. The editors take quotes out of context and mock Bush with such cunning accuracy, that it's hardly journalism, more satire.

For example, at one point we're shown a clip of Bush making a serious statement about terrorism, at the end of which he declares "now watch this drive," and we discover he's actually enjoying a round of golf.

That's funny – showing him talking about such a serious topic, before revealing such a comparatively trivial context.

But what if the context had come first? What if we'd first been shown that he was on a golf course, and then seen him breaking off to address such a serious matter?

Not really funny. Dare I say it, he might even have come across as responsible. Perhaps the press should have really let him play golf for an hour.

At another point Moore declares "I couldn't believe that virtually no member of Congress had read the Patriot Act before voting on it. So I decided that the only patriotic thing to do, was for me to read it to them."

I can see his argument, (regardless of whether I agree with it) but he then decides to read the Act to the congresspeople... via the loudspeaker of an ice-cream van.

One has to wonder whether he actually did read out the entire Act that way. Personally, I doubt it. I suspect that, like John Conyers had implied a moment earlier, he just didn't have the time to.

For all that, there's stark, unpleasant footage in here too, that has an almost Zapruder-like voyeurism about it. The footage of George W Bush during the opening minutes of the 9/11 attack, sitting silently in a classroom, trying to act normally. The harrowing street confrontation at the end between a protestor and a woman whose son had died.

Ultimately though, these sequences sit a little awkwardly in a film that succeeds more at comedy than commentary.


2 comment(s):

At 6:08 pm, Blogger Brandon said...

Great review Steve. It's nice to see others felt the same way. It was sad to know so many people thought this film was so good--when in fact it failed to give any hint of an honest perspective.

At 6:19 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Thanks Brandon.


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