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FARENHEIT 9/11   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Sunday, 04 July 2004

The temperature at which democracy burns.This is what democracy looks like.


Blurred, unbroadcast footage. Open wounds. Arms of children charred to the blackened bone. yes open wide in unimaginable pain. Legs blown off. Faces blown off. The corpses of US soldiers burned, attacked with machetes, hung from bridges. Bodies piled high in trucks. A night raid on an Iraq house. A weeping woman asking God to punish the Americans. Undereducated soldiers listening to "Ozzfest" Nu-Metal CD's and picking off foreigners with infra-red guns.


Democracy is X-rated. That's America. Democratising the world when it can't even get its own results right. And this is how the film starts. With the what could've beens. With Gore's celebration at his election. With the chips falling. CNN, ABC, NBC. All announcing the election of Gore.


And then, the news that we all know. That Bush had won. And yet... with an election that close, every legal step was taken to prevent a recount. Footage unseen of protests, of the Presidents car pelted with eggs, with banners and thousands, millions strong. With Congressmen referring to Al Gore as "Mr.President"  and their strenuous protests against falsified reults.


That is what democracy looks like. And they don't want us to see it.


Farenheit 9/11 is not a great film on any cinematic level : it breaks no boundaries of cinematic art. It often strays off the pont into subplots and  feels more like a 'first cut' than a finished movie. It plays hard and fast with raw material to prove a point. But it is essential. It is the act of an American patriot. A man who loves his country so much he is prepared to ask questions he hates, because he loves it.


Farenheit 9/11 is not a  film : it is a statement of intent and opinion. But certainly no more so  than what passes for the "News" in the US these days. It is the voice of the unheard. The facts they didn't want you to know. A powerful, essential counterpoint to the Official Line. Sure, it is biased.  Sure, the use of footage is highly selective to prove a point. So is the news.


Make no mistake. The message is clear in Farenheit 9/11. The President is a corrupt, evil clown. He can't control a sentence let alone a country. Every business he has run has failed, and now he's in charge of the biggest and most powerful country there is. But he is not the enemy. It is Al Qaeda, because they hate freedom. They hate freedom almost as much as George Bush does. The freedom to criticise.


Freedom of speech is X Rated. Freedom of Michael Moore's speech should be banned. So they tell us. This dirty, seditious traitor. And his crime?


The truth. Truth is always subjective. But for some the truth is merely an inconvience.  Sure the film is biased. But as I said before, certainly no more biased than the news.


There's too much to take in. There's a country run by idiots. There's George Bush sat in front of a sign saying "Reading Is A Good Thing", reading "My Pet The Goat" for seven minutes after he's been told that America is under attack. There's unread reports, confidential documents, there's evidence damning of Bushes shaking hands with Saudis, Bin Ladens, oil pipelines, swung elections, dead bodies, limbless vets forgotten by a fatherland only interest in the Patriot Act and not patriotic acts. There's cover-ups, uncovered lies, there's mothers who fervently saw protestors as the enemy. And then...


There's the moment their son died.


The heart of this movie is about War. War is a business. War is good for business. War is profit. Reasons and morals are bullshit. And then there's the two most telling moments. Outside The White House, a grief stricken mother talks to a protestor who is also fervently against the war. And the voice of Ignorant America bandstands the screen, and proclaims it all to be staged.


And then, over a quote from George Orwell, a stunning montage that makes one think, no, makes one know what this world is coming to. There are idiots at the wheel. The whole packed cinema was left speechless, aghast, and laughing to defuse the sheer, enormous horrific realisation.


Michael Moore made this film to change minds. Make people use them. And to make sure Bush doesn't win the next election. By any means necessary. Not that it matters : because democracy didn't work in 2000. And there's no guarantee that it will work in 2004.


You must see this. You need to know who - or what - is running the most powerful nation on Earth. And you need to know why the real dictators and the true terrorists are at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500.


Farenheit 9/11 is the answer. Michael Moore is exercising his freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, democracy becomes dictatorships. Questions are not seditious, or the work of terrorists. This is what democracy looks like. Take a long hard look whilst you still can.



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