Tuesday, June 29, 2004

All roads lead to Flint

My wife and I saw Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. We both liked it. However, I did not think it was as good as Bowling for Columbine. His earlier film was driven more by footage that Moore produced himself, especially his interviews. Most of Fahrenheit is driven by news footage, giving it the feel of a clips-show from a sit-com. This is especially true of the first third of the movie, when Moore is exploring the connections between the Bush family, the Saudi royal family, and oil. The segments of the film concerning the war in Iraq offer fresh clips that have not really been shown–many gruesome and shocking–allowing for more freshness.

Moore’s arguments are also more powerful when he mines the territory of Columbine. I feel that the material that would connect the war to oil was weak. The movie was strongest when it talked about the “culture of fear”, showing how our perception of our vulnerabilities drove us to war. The information that Moore provides is nothing new, but placing it in this context puts all that information into a story that gives at least one explanation of how we got where we are when other stories have proven lacking.

But Moore most effective device is when he goes home to Flint, Michigan, that depressed auto-manufacturing city. Returning to this city that has little hope puts Moore back into his working class roots. It puts him in contact with people he cares about, showing how various events affect people in “Hometown, America”. I think that it is interesting the Moore is not attacked by conservatives for being out of touch with “regular Americans.” I think it has a lot to do with his desire to reflect issues back onto Flint and its people.

3 Comments:

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. Do me a favor & check out this review of the film, by Christopher Hitchens:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2102723/

and from a more film-oriented angle:

http://www.nypress.com/print.cfm?content_id=10485

Cheers,

twnicholson(@NoSpam)mindspring.com

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And? Just spouting off links, rather than giving your own opinion (as Nat has done) is a much better way to engage people in a discussion.

I agree with you Nat - the strongest part of the film was the material about Flint. The media has failed America by not telling these stories and conservatives do not own patriotism.

-brdgt

 
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