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I know I'm entering the ring fairly late, but I've found a nice and balanced review of Fahrenheit on the New York Review of Books. Quote:
Fahrenheit 9/11 is not, finally, a movie about Iraq or Afghanistan, and
evidently is not intended to be: it's a movie about America and Americans.

posted by rino breebaart  # 1:18 pm
Hi Rino, you're blogging faster than I can comment! On this Moore thing... my problem is not so much his bending of the truth, but that beyond the jingoistic "let's kick Bush out of the White House" (which is fine with me, BTW) his film doesn't have much to say. The NYT review you post above argues that the film is really all about America, and I agree; but Islamic extremism and Iraq are not just about America - obviously - and indeed America is not just about America either. But Moore's film is just so damn parochial - telling us that the Saudi's are taking over the ol' U.S., dropping in on the old neighbourhood, and even letting us know that the phone outside the local sheriff's office doesn't work! The film is an international phenomenon because Moore uses the ambiguity of the image to maximum effect, saying one thing to an American audience ("our sovereignty is being undermined by those bastards") and another thing to a non-American audience ("those bastard American imperialists"); it runs a populist isolationist line while somehow finding solidarity with the European Left. But the film observes everything except the one thing that can give its narrative some coherence, namely the emergence of a world society. That is to say, U.S. aggression and the weakening of the U.S. state are part of one and the same movement - the Bush clan with its Arab friends and international dealings is just a metonym for the larger forces at work which Moore seems oblivious to. That's why the anti-Bush justification, while it serves a purpose, for me is really a sign of political wishful thinking; the idea seems to be get rid of Bush and everything will be fine. But I think it's going to take a lot more than that, starting with a shift in how we perceive the world.
- Andrew
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