Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Guardian Unlimited Film | Features | Peter Bradshaw on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11
It does not have a big "showdown" moment, like Moore's encounter with Charlton Heston, although the director shouts out questions to the president he derisively calls Governor Bush and is rewarded by him with a snarling suggestion that he should get a real job, which takes some effrontery coming from the slacker fratboy head of state who makes Ronald Reagan's workload look Stakhanovite.
Fahrenheit 9/11 cheekily begins with "feed" footage of the major players - Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz - smirking, and preening themselves as they prepare to go on TV. Wolfowitz even has a habit of licking his comb before running it through his hair, which got a deafening "eeeuuuuuwwwww" from the audience.
Here they are, is the implication, the whole corrupt gang who fixed the 2000 election, which began when Bush's cousin John Ellis, a Fox News executive, was instrumental in "calling it" for Bush/Cheney on election night and cowed the other networks into joining in.
From there, Moore sketches out the Texan-Saudi link through the Bin Ladens. This very much involves George Bush Sr, who far from being a retired old gentleman, is a vigorous player in the business and political scene, fully availing himself of the ex-presidential prerogative of receiving intelligence briefings.
Moore has a terrifying and funny sequence when he shows the rabbit-in-car-headlights expression on the president's face when he is told about the second plane hitting the towers while at a children's literacy event. A stopwatch appears in the corner of the screen, as the minutes tick by and the president keeps reading My Pet Goat, not knowing what to do without his advisers to tell him.
Let's hope it gets a distribution deal in time to make an impact on the election.
posted by RogueTrooper |