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Reporter’s Notebook: Even Without Michael Moore, Cannes Films Cause a Stir

Reporter's Notebook: Even Without Michael Moore, Cannes Films Cause a Stir

In addition to my indieWIRE duties here in Cannes, I am doing some writing for the Wall Street Journal online. My third (and final) “Reporter’s Notebook” piece has been published on

Last year in Cannes, Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” dominated the festival, taking home the event’s top prize and bringing an element of political controversy into the normally refined proceedings. This year’s gathering, though lacking a Moore-style firebrand, nevertheless features several provocative films that take a critical stance toward the U.S.

One consequence of Michael Moore’s success here (“Fahrenheit 9/11” won Cannes’ top prize) was to help establish a foothold for documentaries at a festival that historically has welcomed only features. One of this year’s most-talked about films is a British documentary, “The Power of Nightmares,” which explores the emergence of U.S. neoconservatives and radical Islamists during the past 50 years. “Nightmares,” which was directed by Adam Curtis, questions the extent of the terrorist threat posed by Al Qaeda.

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