Fahrenheit 9/11

A Review

By Michael Kemp

Review of Fahrenheit 9/11, a film by Michael Moore

Yes, indeed. A powerful piece of independent film-making, that raises not only the usual questions but also opens a whole new can of worms I’d previously been unaware of.

Fahrenheit 911 publicity poster
Fahrenheit 911

I mean we all knew Bush was a cunt: a simpleton who can hardly string a sentence together without his advisors helping him, but a simpleton backed by power and money is a dangerous thing (as the Iraqi people have discovered to their cost).

What shocked me the most (apart from the expected scenes of carnage & bloodshed) was the level of complicity between the US and Saudi governments. The interweaving of appointed authorities all tied together, at the top, by a common interest in money. Would the US be so chummy with a culture that still believes in public beheadings were it not for the business opportunities such friendships bring their way? That Saudi Arabia actually OWNS about 7% of America outright? That no attempt was made to gather relevant information from the Bin Laden family after you-know-what, instead offering them a free journey home after everybody else had been grounded?

It has been suggested that it’s in the Bush government’s interests to keep Osama alive and “out there” as a 21st century outlaw, for the sole purpose of keeping the American citizens in a state of panic and thereby keeping George W Bush in power for another term. Hopefully Moore’s film will go some way to redressing the balance.

But, much as I hate to be the bringer of doom, it occurs to me that previous opponents of such right wing regimes have often mysteriously “disappeared” or met with inexplicable deaths in the past, for far less public activities than activist filmmaking (yes, even in “civilized” countries, Dubya) - so watch yer back, Mr Moore.

What makes Fahrenheit 9/11 such compulsive viewing, for me at least, are the sudden twists of dark & surreal humour that come in to leaven the horror of atrocity and the political machinations that cause them: the sight of Moore nonchalantly driving an ice-cream van around the White House reading aloud from the Patriot Act was a wonderful thing. Long may he reign…

Or, as Neil Young whined pointedly over the closing credits: “Keep on rocking in the Free World…”

Post Script: One point that mystified me was the lack of condemnation of Tony Blair’s government. I mean he wasn’t even mentioned in the “Coalition of the Willing” sketch (the only reference being Blair portrayed as one of the four cowboys in the Bonanza spoof). Sooty seemed to think that that was because it would dilute the given message of the film, which, as Michael Moore has publicly stated on a number of occasions, is to remove Bush from office.