I don’t think I need to say much about Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 at this point. Most of you who’re going to see it have seen it and my review certainly isn’t likely to pull anyone back from the Dark Side of the Force. In that spirit, I am going to write the rest of this review as if anyone reading this has either seen the film or is thinking of renting it. Time is too short to work on the hardcore Bushies and what’s really important here can be split into two or three portions. One side is the film as film. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a superb piece of documentary work. Regardless of claims that Moore engaged in the stretching of truths or even outright lies, there is enough here, including interviews, uncontested footage and plain old common sense, to make anyone with any kind of compassion, decency or ethics at least question the war in Iraq and the events which led us there, including the election of 2000.
Extras on the disc are extensive and uniformly excellent, from a longer interview with Marine Abdul Henderson, Condoleezza’s evasive testimony before the 9/11 commission and several new scenes, but all pale before the sheer power of Swedish journalist Urban Hamid and his footage of a pre-dawn raid by American forces in Samara. The footage of US forces smashing the gates of a home while looking for a man suspected of financing insurgents is powerful beyond words. The male soldiers enter the house in the middle of the night without an Arabic speaker and proceed to violate Muslim law by touching women and repeatedly disrespecting those older than themselves, manhandling them and laughing at the situation. At one point a captive, an older man who is lying on a stretcher, bound and hooded, is abused by several soldiers is a manner not inconsistent with the tales and photographs coming out of Abu Ghraib. To be honest, I cannot bring myself to describe these images.
I understand that $20 might seem like a lot of money to some, especially considering the current state of the economy and the fact that $20 can’t buy a half tank of gas. That said, it is of utmost important that three types of people buy and watch this magnificent DVD before November 2nd. The first group is comprised of those of you who always meant to see the film, never did and as a result might not be quite as angry as you really ought to be. Buy it. Rent it. This film will change your life.
The second group, are those of you who saw the film in the theaters and it either confirmed your suspicions about the government and this mess in Iraq or confirmed them. However, you have family or friends who would not/could not see the film on original release. Buy the film and Make a family or community night of it. Prevail of your friends and neighbors who have not yet seen the film to do you a favor and watch it with you. Do you have voting aged children who couldn’t be bothered to see the film? Make a family night of it. Make sure they pay strict attention when soldiers their age express dissatisfaction with the war and yes, make sure they pay strict attention to Lila Lipscomb, the woman who symbolizes every mother or father who has lost a child in this unjust war.
Then, most importantly, are those of you who are politically engaged but who get most of your news from the mainstream media. Maybe you’re not sure who to vote for or you’re or you’re leaning toward one side or the other. I beg of you, watch this film. Do it now. Make a community effort of it. Rent the DVD and show it to as many neighbors you can. Especially if you live in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maine and New Hampshire. This is the most important election of your lives.
Click here to purchase the DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11.