Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 Cannes Marathon: Fahrenheit 9/11

(Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival)

Directed by Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11 is a documentary that explores the U.S. presidential administration of George W. Bush in his first term during which the tragedy of the attacks on September 11, 2001 occurred. The film has Moore exploring not just the tragedy that led to the War on Terror but the connections that Bush had with the Bin Laden family and how the incident could’ve been prevented. The result is an eerie yet captivating film about George W. Bush and the chaos he created in his first term including the seeds he would plant for the War in Iraq in 2003.

The attacks on September 11, 2001 was an event in American history that has shocked the country and the world as the film explores the questions into why George W. Bush didn’t immediately respond to the attacks as well as the connection he has to the family of Osama Bin Laden who orchestrated the attack. Especially as much of the first half of the film is about George W. Bush and his administration that included his father George Bush Sr. who had been the U.S. president from 1989 to 1993 as he had made money with a defense contractor who had been working with the Bin Laden family. The film’s second half is about the War in Iraq and George W. Bush’s motives where director Michael Moore comes into play and dares to ask a lot of questions about the war and the families of those from his hometown of Flint, Michigan who lost their children in the war.

With Moore also serving as narrator as he also creates some stunts such as reading the Patriot Act in Washington D.C. outside of Congress, he is trying to make a point over what George W. Bush and his administration were doing. Some of which involved their own cover-ups about not wanting to go after Bin Laden and focus on Iraq while protecting whatever business expenses they had and such. Though there’s elements that does seem to be exaggerated or far-fetched, it does raise questions into what Bush was doing and why it took so long to find Bin Laden who was eventually found and killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Nearly 10 years after the attacks of 9/11 as Moore not only asked people from archival interviews and interviews he made during filming where they asked questions about why Bush took such a long time to do things as it plays to his possible connection with the Bin Laden family who had considered Osama the black sheep.

With the help of editors Kurt Engfehr, Todd Woody Richman, and Chris Seward as well as the contributions of sound editor Gary Rizzo. Moore uses a lot of news footage and such to tell a story about the events that happened as well as the conspiracies that occur. Notably as the film opens with the 2000 election result where Fox News ruined everything by announcing that Bush won Florida instead of Al Gore which ended creating a lot of confusion. The film’s music by Jeff Gibbs is this mix of somber folk and keyboard-based music to play into the terror and drama as well as some of its humor. Even as the musical choices that Moore puts in reflects not just Bush’s incompetence but also the idea of him being a cowboy with his administration. Much of Moore’s direction is sensational yet it does have moments where he does go for some facts and moments that are very human such as its climax involving the mother whose son was killed in the war in Iraq.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a superbly engrossing yet chilling film from Michael Moore. While it is a flawed film that tends to be one-sided in its politics, there is no question that Moore is someone who dares to ask big questions as well as criticize the George W. Bush administration. In the end, Fahrenheit 9/11 is an excellent film from Michael Moore.

© thevoid99 2014


Mette said...

One of my favorite documentaries by far, although I think I like Capitalism: A Love Story a little more. It's just a personal thing though. This really taught me a lot of new information, while I was careful to see how it was also one-sided... great choice for the marathon!

I've decided only to watch two films: 8 1/2 today and Blue Is the Warmest Color on the 25th. I'm excited for both!

thevoid99 said...

@Mette-I'm not really a fan of Moore's style though I do think it is an excellent documentary as I figured to start the marathon off with some controversy and something I've seen before but haven't properly reviewed. I've got eight films I haven't seen to watch for the duration of the festival as they've all won the Palme d'Or and one re-watch to close the marathon.