Michael Moore has done it again with “Fahrenheit 9/11”, that is he has created a provocative, personal, and powerful new film that will make even more waves on its way to (and once it finally opens in) U.S. movie theaters. I lined up early this morning for one of the “unofficial” screenings scheduled here in Cannes ahead of the official showings for press, industry and attendees that took place today. As I write this, the film is having its official competition world premiere in the Palais des Festivals. I expect it will receive a massive ovation when the lights come up.
As promised, “Fahrenheit” delivers unseen footage: Iraqi captives being abused, emotional interviews with the families of fallen soldiers, details of recently classified records about Bush’s military service, Iraqi civilian casualties and interviews from the battlefield with U.S. military criticizing President Bush and the war in Iraq. The film also explores connections between the Bush and Bin Laden families and offers a scathing indictment of the administration from the 2000 election through its handling of the situation in Iraq.
In some ways “Fahrenheit” feels more unfocused than “Bowling for Columbine,” yet much more urgent. It explores so many threads of intrigue, yet offers a stirring rant about the state of this country. It will raise more questions about the goverment, incite deep criticisms from the right, and probably mobilize the left. How it might affect the small numbers of people who have not yet decided which way to vote this Fall will be worth watching — even more intriguing is whether it will energize disenfranchised and younger voters.
The film is the big buzz today, camera crews interviewed journalists outside this mornings showings and mobbed Harvey Weinstin when he emerged from the unofficial screening. No doubt a deal to release the movie will come soon and Moore said at the press conference today (which had probably as many people inside as were outside watching the session on various TV screens in the Palais) that it will come out in time to be seen before the election.
I am scheduled to talk with Moore tomorrow, so more to come…