July 6, 2004
We got to the theater thirty minutes before showtime and a long line was already snaking in front of the entrance for Fahrenheit 9/11. I scanned the faces around me. It was a big crowd that crossed all divides: young and old, white and non-white, male and female.
The anticipation was palpable. As soon as we got in and settled in our seats someone exclaimed, "GIVE US SOME TRUTH!" which was met with healthy applause.
The movie was powerful, potent. It started with the unprecedented disgrace of the 2000 elections and proceeded to September 11th and the now infamous footage of the leader of the free world, reading My Pet Goat in a classroom, looking clueless and unpresidential in those crucial early moments as the nation is plunged into mayhem.
It continued with the connection between the House of Bush and the House of Saud and how the Administration was bent on finding a link, no matter how tenuous, between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
The movie's most powerful moments focused on the war and the high price it exacts in terms of freedom and lives. It documented the pain of Lila Lipscomb, a mother and patriot from Michael Moore's native town of Flint, Michigan whose soldier son was killed in Iraq.
Fahrenheit 9/11 was typical of Moore's work, the disturbing scenes mixed with his trademark antics and sardonic humor. Yet it is a more effective and damning film than his previous efforts Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine. Though it didn't tell me anything I don't already know, it was still vexing to see it all laid out in plain view. As Marigold would say, "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention".
Critics charge that his film is not a documentary but propaganda, and I say so what? Moore is an avowed provocateur who doesn't deny that his motive is to unseat George W. Bush in November. And if this is propaganda, what should we call the deliberate disinformation by an Administration that manipulated our fears and took us to war on nothing more than circumstantial evidence? What about the half-baked truths delivered by a complacent media which is nothing more than a mouthpiece?
The movie will make you question the rationale presented for war, and will make you realize that we should not surrender our ability to think. The only way to know the truth is by seeking it ourselves and continuously challenging the validity of the information before us. Our future as a democracy depends on it.
On this Independence Day, I leave you with this quote from Michael Moore:
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Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.
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