Main Page | Recent changes | View source | Page history

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Not logged in
Log in | Help

Fahrenheit 9/11

From dKosopedia

"As much as some might try to marginalize this film as a screed against President George Bush, "F9/11" - as we saw last night - is a tribute to patriotism, to the American sense of duty - and at the same time a indictment of stupidity and avarice." - Roger Friedman, Fox [1]

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a documentary by American filmmaker Michael Moore, which hit theaters on June 25 2004. It was been described by the Los Angeles Times as "an alternate history of the last four years on the U.S. political scene." [2] The film was awarded the Golden Palm by an international jury (where Americans were predominant) at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, the festival's highest award. The title of the film is a reference to Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451, as well as the September 11 attacks. In Bradbury's dystopian novel society has been dumbed down because broadcasting, especially television, has completely replaced print as communications media. The destruction of books means the end of critical thinking skills and fact checking.



Carrying the tagline of "The temperature where freedom burns," the film deals with the causes and aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, and with the subsequent occupation. In the film, Moore also describes the links between the Bush family and associated persons, and prominent Saudi Arabian families (including that of Osama Bin Laden), a relationship spanning three decades.

While these business links are not disputed, they are not widely known, and Moore has previously alleged that the Bush administration turned a blind eye to Saudi links to terrorist groups (most of the 19 hijackers were Saudis). In this vein, he also examines the government-sponsored evacuation of relatives of Osama Bin Laden after the attacks. One of his primary sources for these claims is the book House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, which Moore also advertises on his website.

In April 2004, Moore posted a note on his web site regarding the progress of the film. In it, he stated that he was obtaining footage directly from Iraq:

I currently have two cameramen/reporters doing work for me in Iraq for my movie (unbeknownst to the Army). They are talking to soldiers and gathering the true sentiment about what is really going on. They Fed Ex the footage back to me each week. [3]

Victory in Cannes

In April 2004 the film was selected to compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 57th Cannes Film Festival. After its first showing in Cannes in May of 2004, the film received a 20-minute standing ovation, which Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux declared "the longest standing ovation in the history of the festival." (According to french news the standing ovation was more than 23 minutes long).

On May 22, 2004 the film was awarded the Palme d'Or. It was the first documentary to win that award since Jacques Cousteau & Louis Malle's The Silent World in 1956. Just like his much publicized Oscar acceptance speech, Moore's speech in Cannes carried a courageous political message:

I have a sneaking suspicion that what you have done here and the response from everyone at the festival, you will assure that the American people will see this film. I can't thank you enough for that. You've put a huge light on this and many people want the truth and many want to put it in the closet, just walk away. There was a great Republican president who once said, if you just give the people the truth, the Republicans, the Americans will be saved. [...] I dedicate this Palme d'Or to my daughter, to the children of Americans and to Iraq and to all those in the world who suffer from our actions.

Some conservatives in the United States, such as Jon Alvarez of Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood (PABAAH), commented [4] that such an award could be expected from "the French" (see Anti-French sentiment in the United States); Moore responded: "There was only one French citizen on the jury. Four out of nine were American. [...] This is not a French award, it was given by an international jury dominated by Americans."

He also responded to claims that the award was political: "Quentin [Tarantino] whispered in my ear, 'we want you to know that it was not the politics of your film that won you this award. We are not here to give a political award. Some of us have no politics. We awarded the art of cinema, that is what won you this award and we wanted you to know that as a fellow filmmaker.'"

Quotes from the Palme d'Or jury press conference

The following comments were made at the Palme d'Or jury press conference. [5]

On the politics of the film:

On awarding a documentary:

Bradbury steamed

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury criticised Moore for using "his" title without his permission [6]. "Michael Moore is a screwed a--hole, that is what I think about that case," Bradbury said according to a translation. "He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission." "[Moore] is a horrible human being – horrible human!" continued cranky Bradbury. Asked if he shares political veiws with Moore, Bradbury replied, "That has nothing to do with it. He copied my title; that is what happened. That has nothing to do with my political opinions." So Bradbury did not answer the question.

Since the titles of literary works cannot be protected by copyright or trademark, Bradbury's charges are just one of artistic courtesy.

The author also claimed Moore ruined Wesley Clark's chances of being president. But if Clarks chances were that fragile they would not have survived a tough nomination fight or the general election.

Release controversy

Originally planned for distribution by Icon Productions, Fahrenheit 9/11 was later picked up by Miramax after Icon released claims to the movie in May 2003, citing image conflicts while claiming the decision to be apolitical. Miramax had earlier distributed another film for Moore, The Big One, in 1997.

In May 2004, Moore asserted that Disney (the parent company of Miramax) was blocking the distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 in North America, citing a contractual clause expressly permitting it to do so in such cases as a prohibitive budget or MPAA rating. Miramax executives disagreed. They stated that both Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, as well as Miramax were advised in May 2003 that Miramax would not be permitted to distribute the film. Disney representatives allege that Disney has the right to veto any Miramax films if it appears that their distribution would be counterproductive to the interests of the company.

For a major corporation Disney demonstrated considerable courage in backing the film. An unnamed Disney executive stated that the film is against Disney's interests not because of government business dealings, but instead to avoid being "dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle" and risk alienating customers. Emanuel stated that Michael Eisner, the chief executive of Disney, requested that he back out of the Miramax deal, expressing political concerns regarding the reactions of conservative politicians, especially tax breaks given to Disney properties (i.e., Disneyworld), in Florida, where Jeb Bush is governor. Moore acknowledged in a later CNN interview that Disney had told him that they did not want the film the previous year. Despite that, Disney continued to fund Fahrenheit 911 with six million dollars throughout the remaining year of production.

On May 28 2004, after more than a week of talks, Disney announced that Miramax film studio founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein had personally acquired the rights to the documentary from Walt Disney Co., after Disney, which owns Miramax, declined to distribute it. The film will be released under the newly formed company Fellowship Adventure Group, which will also take care of its home video distribution. Furthermore, a settlement was reached so that any profits from the film's distribution that go to Miramax or Disney will be donated to charity. The Weinsteins repaid their parent company for all costs of the film to date, estimated at around $6 million. They will also be responsible for all costs to finish the film and all marketing costs not paid by any third-party film distributors. Moore called the deal a "fair and equitable solution" and added that he was "grateful to them now that everyone who wants to see it will now have the chance to do so."

The film was released in the U.S. by a partnership of Lions Gate Films, IFC Films and the Fellowship Adventure Group. The Weinstein brothers personally financed and controlled distribution and marketing. Overseas rights have been sold to several other companies.

Attempted, unsuccessful counterblast to the movie

Those who challenge the rulign class can expect retribution. Moore became the target of a politically motivated documentary - Michael Moore Hates America (movie 2004). It is directed by a young independent film maker, Michael Wilson, and has recently been bailed out by Bush donor Brian R. Cartmell, a retired Internet entrepreneur with a background in Internet porn.

A new Republican group called Move America Forward created by the Russo Marsh & Rogers GOP consultation firm are now adding to the attack on Moore and his film. The organization which calls itself "non-partisan" claims that the film is anti-American and attacks the "U.S. military, the heroic men and women of the Armed Forces and our Commander-In-Chief"[7]. Further they claim that the goal of the film is "to undermine the war on terrorism".

Quotes by the director Moore

Other Quotes

Extracts of Dialogues

There's no other single area of the world today with the opportunity for business, new business, similar to the opportunity that's available today in Iraq.
Unfortunately, at least for the near term, we think it's going to be a good situation. Err, a dangerous situation. Good for business, bad for the people.
Governor Bush. It's Michael Moore.
Behave yourself, will you? Go find real work.

External links

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../../f/a/h/Fahrenheit_9_11_5431.html"

This page was last modified 13:47, 30 October 2008 by dKosopedia user Centerfielder. Based on work by Totally Awsome and dKosopedia user(s) Crayon, Mr. Critical, BartFraden, Deaniack, MMHamerica, Lestatdelc, EqualOpportunityCynic, Bgod, Pingz, Neoconned, Emjaycue and Neutron. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

[Main Page]
Daily Kos
DailyKos FAQ

View source
Discuss this page
Page history
What links here
Related changes

Special pages
Bug reports