Fahrenheit 9/11: Wikis

  
  

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Fahrenheit 9/11

Promotional poster for Fahrenheit 9/11
designed by Lisa Sandler for Miramax Films
Directed by Michael Moore
Produced by Michael Moore
Jim Czarnecki
Kathleen Glynn
Harvey Weinstein
Bob Weinstein
Written by Michael Moore
Starring Michael Moore
George W. Bush
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
IFC Films (theatrical)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (DVD)
Release date(s) June 23, 2004[1]
Running time 122 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English
Budget $6,000,000
Gross revenue $222,446,882 [2]

Fahrenheit 9/11 is an award-winning and controversial 2004 documentary film by American filmmaker Michael Moore. The film takes a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush, the War on Terrorism, and its coverage in the news media. The film holds the record for highest box office receipts by a general release political film. It is the highest grossing documentary of all time.[3]

In the film, Moore contends that American corporate media were "cheerleaders" for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and did not provide an accurate or objective analysis of the rationale for the war or the resulting casualties there. The film's attack on the Bush administration generated some controversy at the time of the film's release, including some disputes over its accuracy. Moore has responded by documenting his sources.

The film debuted at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival in the documentary film category and received a 20 minute standing ovation (the longest standing ovation in the festival's history). The film was also awarded the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm),[4] the festival's highest award.

The film had a general release in the United States and Canada on June 23, 2004. It has since been released in 42 more countries. As of January 2005, the film had grossed nearly $120 million in U.S. box office and over $220 million worldwide,[5] an unprecedented amount for a political film. Sony reported first-day DVD sales of two million copies, again a new record for the genre.[6]

The title of the film alludes to Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian view of the future United States, analogizing the autoignition temperature of paper with the date of the September 11 attacks; the film's tagline is "The Temperature at Which Freedom Burns."

Contents

Financing, pre-release and distribution

Originally planned to be financed by Mel Gibson's Icon Productions (which planned to give Michael Moore eight figures in upfront cash and potential backend),[7] Fahrenheit 9/11 was later picked up by Miramax Films and Wild Bunch in May 2003 after Icon Productions had abruptly dropped the financing deal it made.[8] Miramax had earlier distributed another film for Moore, The Big One, in 1997.

At that time, Disney was the parent company of Miramax. According to the book DisneyWar, Disney executives didn't know that Miramax agreed to finance the film until they saw a posting on the Drudge Report. Afterward, Michael Eisner (who was the CEO of Disney at that time) called Harvey Weinstein (who was the co-chairman of Miramax at that time) and required him to drop the film. In addition, Disney sent two letters to Weinstein demanding Miramax drop the film. Weinstein felt Disney had no right to block them from releasing Fahrenheit 9/11 since the film's $6 million budget was well below the level that Miramax needed to seek Disney's approval, and it wouldn't be rated NC-17.[9] But Weinstein was in contract negotiations with Disney, so he offered compromises and said that he would drop the film if Disney didn't like it.[9] Disney responded by having Peter Murphy  send Weinstein a letter stating that the film's $6 million budget was only a bridge financing and Miramax would sell off their interest in the movie to get those $6 million back; according to the same letter, Miramax was also expected to publicly state that they wouldn't release the film.[9]

After Fahrenheit 9/11 was nearly finished, Miramax held several preview screenings for the film; in the screenings, the film was "testing through the roof."[10] Afterward, Harvey Weinstein said to Michael Eisner that Fahrenheit 9/11 was finished, and Eisner was surprised by the fact that Miramax had continued making the film.[10] Weinstein asked several Disney executives (including Eisner) to watch the film, but all of them declined; Disney stated again that Miramax wouldn't release the film, and Disney also accused Weinstein of hiding Fahrenheit 9/11 by keeping it off production reports.[10] Finally, Disney sent their production vice president Brad Epstein to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 on April 24, 2004.[10] According to Weinstein, Epstein said to Weinstein that he liked the film; but according to the report Epstein sent to Disney board, Epstein clearly criticized it.[10] Afterward, Eisner told Weinstein that Disney board decided not to allow Miramax to release the film.[10] Weinstein was furious and he asked George J. Mitchell (who was the chairman of Disney at that time) to see the film, but Mitchell declined.[10] Later, Weinstein asked lawyer David Boies to help him find a solution.[10]

The New York Times reported about Disney's decision on May 5, 2004.[11] Disney stated that both Moore's agent (Ari Emanuel) and Miramax were advised in May 2003 that Miramax would not be permitted to distribute the film. Disney representatives claim that Disney has the right to veto any Miramax film if it appears that their distribution would be counterproductive to the interests of the company. Disney had blocked Miramax from releasing two films before: Kids and Dogma.[12]

An unnamed Disney executive said that the film was against Disney's interests not because of government business dealings, but because releasing it would risk being "dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle" and alienating customers. Emanuel stated that Disney chief executive Michael Eisner requested that he back out of the Miramax deal, expressing concerns about political fallout from conservative politicians, especially regarding tax breaks given to Disney properties in Florida (e.g., Walt Disney World), where Jeb Bush is governor. Disney also has financial ties to members of the Saudi royal family,[13] who were represented unfavorably in the film. Moore admitted later in a CNN interview that Disney had told him they did not want the film a year earlier, however, he had been advised by representatives that Miramax would continue to fund filming. Seemingly in approval, Disney continued to fund Fahrenheit 9/11 via Miramax throughout the remaining year of production.

Due to these difficulties, distribution for the film was first secured in numerous countries outside the U.S. On May 28, 2004, after more than a week of talks, Disney announced that Miramax film studio founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein had personally acquired the rights to the documentary from Walt Disney Co. after Disney declined to distribute it. The Weinsteins agreed to repay Disney for all costs of the film to that point, estimated at around $6 million. They also agreed to be responsible for all costs to finish the film and all marketing costs not paid by any third-party film distributors.[14] A settlement between the Weinsteins and Disney was also reached so that 60% of the film's profit would be donated to charity.[15]

Later, The Weinsteins established Fellowship Adventure Group to handle the distribution of this film. Fellowship Adventure Group joined forces with Lions Gate Entertainment (which had released two other Miramax-financed films O and Dogma)[16] and IFC Films to release this film in the United States theatrically. (Later, Fellowship Adventure Group also handled this film's United States home video distribution via Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment). Moore stated that he was "grateful to them now that everyone who wants to see it will now have the chance to do so."[17]

After being informed that the film had been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America, Moore appealed the decision, hoping to obtain a PG-13 rating instead. (The R rating requires anyone under the age of 17 to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.) Moore's lawyer, former Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, was not allowed to attend the hearing. The appeal was denied on June 22, 2004, and Cuomo contended that it was because he had been banned from the hearing. Some theaters chose to defy the MPAA and allow unchaperoned teenagers to attend screenings. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting gave the film an A-III rating, meaning that it was, in their judgment, "morally unobjectionable for adults" (this is the mildest rating typically given by the organization to motion pictures that are rated R by the MPAA). Moore commented that he was willing to "sneak anyone in."

Content summary

The movie begins by suggesting that friends and political allies of George W. Bush at Fox News Channel tilted the election of 2000 by prematurely declaring Bush the winner. It then suggests the handling of the voting controversy in Florida constituted election fraud.

The film then segues into the September 11 attacks, with the screen going black and the film relying solely on sounds to illustrate the chaos on that day. When the film resumes, it continues with scenes of the bystanders, survivors, and falling debris of the World Trade Center. Moore notes that Bush was informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center on his way to an elementary school. Bush is then shown sitting in a Florida classroom with kids. When told that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center and that the nation is "under attack" Bush continues reading The Pet Goat to the kids, and Moore notes that he continued reading for nearly seven minutes.

The film then discusses the causes and aftermath of the September 11 attacks, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Moore then discusses the complex relationships between the U.S. government, the Bush family, the bin Laden family, the Saudi Arabian government, and the Taliban, which span over three decades. Moore alleges that the United States Government evacuated 24 members of the bin Laden family on a secret flight shortly after the attacks, without subjecting them to any form of interrogation. At the time, all other domestic and international civilian air traffic within the United States was grounded.

Moore moves on to examine George W. Bush's Air National Guard service record. Moore contends that Bush's dry-hole oil well attempts were partially funded by the Saudis and by the bin Laden family through the intermediary of James R. Bath. Moore alleges that these conflicts of interest suggest that the Bush administration is not working for the best interests of Americans. The movie continues by suggesting ulterior motives for the war in Afghanistan, including a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean.

Moore alleges that the Bush administration induced a climate of fear among the American population through the mass media. Moore then describes purported anti-terror efforts, including government infiltration of pacifist groups and other events, and the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act, which vastly expands government powers. After finding out that members of Congress do not read most of the bills that they vote on, including the USA PATRIOT Act, Moore drives through Washington D.C. in an ice cream truck using the external speaker to read the PATRIOT Act to them.

The documentary then turns to the subject of the Iraq War, comparing the lives of the Iraqis before and after the invasion. The citizens of Iraq are shown to be living relatively happy lives prior to the country's invasion by the U.S. military. The film also takes pains to demonstrate war cheerleading in the U.S. media and general bias of journalists, with quotes from news organizations and embedded journalists. The film then shows Bush's moment of "Mission Accomplished" on board the USS Abraham Lincoln. The film alternates between media reports of increased casualties in Iraq and Bush's comment to "Bring 'em on", referring to the Iraqi insurgency.

The film then shifts its focus to Moore's hometown, Flint, Michigan. The economically hard-hit town's low-income neighborhoods were the prime target of military recruiters. A recruiter named Raymond Plouhar is introduced (he was later killed in Iraq), as he and another marine recruiter track people down in a parking lot of a mall. The film introduces Lila Lipscomb, a woman presented as the proud mother of a U.S. serviceman. She expresses her strong sense of patriotism and support for the men and women in uniform.

Moore suggests that, because the war was based on a lie, atrocities will occur, and shows footage depicting U.S. abuse of prisoners.

Later in the film, Lipscomb reappears with her family after hearing of the death of her son, Sgt. Michael Pederson, who was killed on April 2, 2003, in Karbala. Anguished and tearful, she begins to question the purpose of the war.

Because Moore was tired of seeing people like Lila Lipscomb suffer, and after discovering that only one member of Congress has a child serving in Iraq, he distributes armed services enrollment information to various members of Congress and suggests that they enlist their children.

Tying together several themes and points, Moore compliments those serving in the U.S. military. He claims that the lower class of America are always the first to join the army and defend the nation, so that the people better off don't have to. He states that those valuable troops should not be sent to risk their lives unless it is absolutely necessary. The film ends with a clip of George W. Bush stumbling through his infamous "Fool me once" quote. The credits roll while Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" plays.

Moore dedicated the film to his friend who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks and to those servicemen and women from Flint, Michigan that have been killed in Iraq. The film is also dedicated to "countless thousands" of civilian victims of war as a result of United States military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Film release and box office

Alternate Fahrenheit 9/11 poster

The film was released theatrically by The Fellowship Adventure Group through a distribution arrangement with Lions Gate Entertainment. The Fellowship Adventure Group was formed by Bob and Harvey Weinstein specifically for the release of Fahrenheit 9/11. On its opening weekend of June 25–June 27, the film generated box-office revenue of $23.9 million in the U.S. and Canada, making it the weekend's top-grossing film, despite having been screened in only 868 theaters (many of the weekend's other top movies played on over 2,500 screens). Its opening weekend earned more than the entire U.S. theatrical run of any other feature-length documentary (including Moore's previous film, Bowling for Columbine). The film was released in the UK on July 2, 2004 and in France on July 7, 2004.[18]

During the weekend of July 24, 2004, the film passed the $100 million mark in box-office receipts.[19]

Moore credited part of this success to the efforts of conservative groups to pressure theaters not to run the film, conjecturing that these efforts backfired by creating publicity. There were also efforts by liberal groups such as MoveOn.org (who helped promote the film) to encourage attendance in order to defy their political opponents' contrary efforts.[20]

Fahrenheit 9/11 was screened in a number of Middle Eastern countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Egypt, but was immediately banned in Kuwait. "We have a law that prohibits insulting friendly nations," said Abdul-Aziz Bou Dastour of the Information Ministry.[21][22] The film was not shown in Saudi Arabia as public movie theaters are not permitted. The Saudi ruling elite subsequently launched an advertising campaign spanning nineteen US cites to counter criticism partly raised in the film.[23]

The film was shown in Iran, an anomaly in a nation in which American films had been banned since the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Iranian film producer and human rights activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi communicated with Iranians who saw the film, and claimed that it generated a pro-American response.[24]

In Cuba, bootlegged versions of the film were shown in 120 theaters, followed by a prime-time television broadcast by the leading state-run network. It had been widely reported that this might affect its Oscar eligibility. However, soon after that story had been published, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement denying this, saying, "If it was pirated or stolen or unauthorized we would not blame the producer or distributor for that."[25] In addition, Wild Bunch, the film's overseas distributor for Cuba, issued a statement denying a television deal had been struck with Cuban Television. The issue became moot, however, when Moore decided to forgo Oscar eligibility in favor of a pay-per-view televising of the film on November 1, 2004.

DVD release

Fahrenheit 9/11 was released to DVD and VHS on October 5, 2004, an unusually short turnaround time after theatrical release. In the first days of the release, the film broke records for the highest-selling documentary ever. About two million copies were sold on the first day.[26]

A companion book, The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader, was released at the same time. It contains the complete screenplay, documentation of Moore's sources, audience e-mails about the film, film reviews, articles and political cartoons pertaining to the film. The DVD also contained some additional footage.[27]

Initial television presentations

The two-hour film was planned to be shown as part of the three-hour "The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special" on iN DEMAND, but iN DEMAND backed out in mid-October. Moore later arranged for simultaneous broadcasts on November 1, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on Dish Network, TVN and the Cinema Now website and material prepared for "The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special" was incorporated into "Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement in Time," which aired that same week on The Independent Film Channel.

The movie was also shown on basic cable television in Germany and Austria on November 1, 2004 and November 2, 2004. In the UK, the film was shown on Channel 4 on January 27, 2005. In Hungary, it was shown on RTL Klub, a commercial channel, on September 10, 2005, on m1, one of the national channels, on August 13, 2006, on m2, the other national channel, on September 1, 2006. In Denmark, it was shown on Danmarks Radio (normally referred to as just DR), which is Denmark's national broadcasting corporation, on April 11, 2006. In Norway, it was shown on NRK, the national broadcasting corporation, on August 27, 2006. The film was screened in New Zealand on September 9, 2006 on TV ONE, a channel of TVNZ. The next day, the Dutch network Nederland 3 aired the film. In Belgium, it was shown on Kanaal 2 on October 12, 2006. In Brazil, it aired on October 10, 2008 on TV Cultura, the São Paulo public broadcasting network.

Reception

Critical reception

The film was received positively by critics. Among It received a 84% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 221 reviews[28]. It also received a score of 67 (generally favorable) on Metacritic based on 43 reviews.[29] The consensus according to Rotten Tomatoes is that the documentary presents a one-sided debate, but is worth watching for the debates that it stirs.[30]

Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, " Michael Moore's anti-Bush polemic gave millions of frustrated liberals exactly what they needed to hear in 2004--and infuriated just about everyone else. Along the way, it became the highest-grossing documentary of all time."[31]

Commercial reception

The film grossed over $222 million dollars, becoming the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Awards

Palme d'Or

In April 2004, the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 57th Cannes Film Festival. After its first showing in Cannes in May 2004, the film received a 15-20 minute standing ovation; Harvey Weinstein, whose Miramax Films funded the film, said, "It was the longest standing ovation I've seen in over 25 years."[32][33]

On May 22, 2004, the film was awarded the Palme d'Or.[4] It was the first documentary to win that award since Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle's The Silent World in 1956. Just as his much-publicized Oscar acceptance speech, Moore's speech in Cannes included some political statements:[citation needed]

I can't begin to express my appreciation and my gratitude to the jury, the Festival, to Gilles Jacob, Frémaux, Bob and Harvey at Miramax, to all of the crew who worked on the film. [...] I have a sneaking suspicion that what you have done here and the response from everyone at the festival, you will assure that the American people will see this film. I can't thank you enough for that. You've put a huge light on this and many people want the truth and many want to put it in the closet, just walk away. There was a great Republican president who once said, if you just give the people the truth, the Republicans, the Americans will be saved. [...] I dedicate this Palme d'Or to my daughter, to the children of Americans and to Iraq and to all those in the world who suffer from our actions.

Some conservatives in the United States, such as Jon Alvarez of FireHollywood, commented that such an award could be expected from the French.[34] Moore had remarked only days earlier that: "I fully expect the Fox News Channel and other right-wing media to portray this as an award from the French. [...] There was only one French citizen on the jury. Four out of nine were American. [...] This is not a French award, it was given by an international jury dominated by Americans."[35] The jury was made up of four North Americans, four Europeans, and one Asian.[36]

He also responded to suggestions that the award was political: "Quentin [Tarantino] whispered in my ear, 'We want you to know that it was not the politics of your film that won you this award. We are not here to give a political award. Some of us have no politics. We awarded the art of cinema, that is what won you this award and we wanted you to know that as a fellow filmmaker.'"[37] In comments to the prize-winning jury in 2005, Cannes director Gilles Jacob said that panels should make their decision based on filmmaking rather than politics. He expressed his opinion that though Moore's talent was not in doubt, "it was a question of a satirical tract that was awarded a prize more for political than cinematographic reasons, no matter what the jury said."[38] Interviewed about the decision four years later, Tarantino responded: "As time has gone on, I have put that decision under a microscope and I still think we were right. That was a movie of the moment – Fahrenheit 9/11 may not play the same way now as it did then, but back then it deserved everything it got."[39]

People's Choice Award

The film won additional awards after its release, such as the People's Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture, an unprecedented honor for a documentary.

Golden Raspberry

The film also won four Razzies for its "acting" performances. George W. Bush won Worst Actor, Bush with either Rice or "his pet goat" won Worst Screen Couple, Donald Rumsfeld won Worst Supporting Actor, and Rice and Britney Spears were both nominated for Worst Supporting Actress, with Spears winning the award (for her comments about Bush and the war).[40]

Controversy

The film generated some controversy and criticism after its release shortly before the United States presidential election, 2004. British-American journalist and literary critic Christopher Hitchens contended that Fahrenheit 9/11 contains distortions and untruths.[41] This drew several rebuttals, including an eFilmCritic article and a Columbus Free Press editorial.[42] Former Democratic mayor of New York City Ed Koch, who had endorsed President Bush for re-election, called the film propaganda.[43] In response, Moore published a list of facts and sources for Fahrenheit 9/11 and a document that he says establishes agreements between the points made in his film and the findings of the 9/11 Commission.[44]

Influence on the 2004 presidential election

The film was released in June 2004, less than four months before the 2004 presidential election. Michael Moore, while not endorsing presidential candidate John Kerry, stated in interviews that he hoped "to see Mr. Bush removed from the White House."[45] He also said that he hoped his film would influence the election: "This may be the first time a film has this kind of impact."[45] However, some political analysts did not expect it to have a significant effect on the election. One Republican strategist stated that Moore "communicates to that far-left sliver that would never vote for Bush," and Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College, suspected that the main effect of the film would be to "turn Bush-haters into bigger Bush-haters."[45] Regardless of whether the film would change the minds of many voters, Moore stated his intention to use it as an organizing tool, and hoped that it would energize those who wanted to see Bush defeated in 2004, increasing voter turnout.[46] Despite whatever effect the movie may have had, George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004.

See also

References

  1. ^ Film Search - Variety
  2. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=fahrenheit911.htm
  3. ^ Documentary - Political Movies, Box Office Mojo, 1982-Present.
  4. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Fahrenheit 9/11". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/4201423/year/2004.html. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  5. ^ Fahrenheit 9/11 at Box Office Mojo; in nominal dollars, from 1982 to the present
  6. ^ Fahrenheit 9/11 burns records on debut day October 7, 2004
  7. ^ Moore tools up for another furor - Entertainment News, Michael Fleming, Media - Variety
  8. ^ Moore's hot-potato '911' docu loses an Icon - Entertainment News, Moore's Hot Doc, Media - Variety
  9. ^ a b c Stewart, p.429-430
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Stewart, p.519-520
  11. ^ Disney Is Blocking Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush - New York Times
  12. ^ Variety100.com - Celebrating 100 Years of Variety
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/02/business/rich-saudi-bails-out-disney-unit.html
  14. ^ ctv.ca
  15. ^ commondreams.org
  16. ^ newsweek.com
  17. ^ findarticles.com
  18. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=intl&id=fahrenheit911.htm
  19. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=fahrenheit911.htm
  20. ^ http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_28/c3891087_mz013.htm
  21. ^ "Kuwait bans anti-Bush documentary," BBC Online, August 2, 2004
  22. ^ Donna Abu-Nasr, "Arabs denounce, embrace Fahrenheit," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, 2004
  23. ^ Brian Whitaker, "Saudis buy ads to counter Fahrenheit 9/11," The Age, August 19, 2004
  24. ^ Iranian Citizens Trash Fahrenheit 9/11
  25. ^ Josh Grossberg (August 3, 2004). "Moore's Cuban Oscar Crisis?". E Online. http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,14644,00.html. 
  26. ^ 'Fahrenheit' Burns Home-Video Sales Records Reuters, October 6, 2004
  27. ^ Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD Features Rotten Tomatoes.
  28. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fahrenheit_911/
  29. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/fahrenheit911?q=fahrenheit
  30. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fahrenheit_911/?name_order=asc
  31. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
  32. ^ 'Fahrenheit' lights fire in Cannes debut, The Hollywood Reporter. May 18, 2004.
  33. ^ Anti-Bush film tops Cannes awards, BBC News Online. May 24, 2004.
  34. ^ Jon Alvarez (May 28, 2004). "The French, Michael Moore, and Fahrenheit 9/11". ChronWatch. http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=7563. 
  35. ^ Fahrenheit 9/11 Wins Top Prize at Cannes The New York Times May 23, 2004
  36. ^ "2004 Cannes Film Festival". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Cannes_Film_Festival. 
  37. ^ Moore film 'won Cannes on merit', BBC News Online. May 23, 2004.
  38. ^ 'No politics' at Cannes festival, BBC News Online. May 11, 2005.
  39. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn. The Call Back: Quentin Tarantino, T magazine, Summer 2009.
  40. ^ John Wilson (2005). "Halle’s Feline Fiasco Catwoman and President’s Fahrenheit Blunders Tie for 25th Razzie Dis-Honors". Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. http://www.razzies.com/asp/directory/25thWinners.htm. 
  41. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (2004-06-21). "Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore". Slate.com. http://www.slate.com/id/2102723. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  42. ^ A Defense of Fahrenheit 9/11 August 27, 2004
  43. ^ Koch, Ed (2004-06-28). "Moore’s propaganda film cheapens debate, polarizes nation". World Tribune. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2004/guest_koch_6_28.html. 
  44. ^ Michael Moore. "Factual Back-Up For Fahrenheit 9/11". MichaelMoore.com. http://www.michaelmoore.com/warroom/f911notes/. 
  45. ^ a b c Kasindorf, Martin; Keen (2004-06-24), "'Fahrenheit 9/11': Will it change any voter's mind?", USAToday, http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-06-24-fahrenheit-cover_x.htm, retrieved 2008-07-29 
  46. ^ McNamee, Mike (7/12/2004), "Washington Outlook: Will Fahrenheit 9/11 Singe Bush?", BusinessWeek, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_28/c3891087_mz013.htm, retrieved 2008-07-29 

Further reading

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a 2004 film about how President George W. Bush of the United States allegedly misled his country about the threat of terrorism and lied about the reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Directed and written by Michael Moore.
Controversy... What Controversy? taglines

Contents

Narrator/Michael Moore

  • While Bush was busy taking care of his base and professing his love for our troops, he proposed cutting combat soldiers' pay by 33% and assistance to their families by 60%. He opposed giving veterans a billion dollars more in health care benefits, and he supported closing veteran hospitals. He tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans and opposed full benefits for part-time reservists. And when Staff Sergeant Brett Petriken from Flint was killed in Iraq on May 26th, the army sent his last paycheck to his family, but they docked him for the last five days of the month that he didn't work because he was dead.
  • Not even Ricky Martin could fly.
  • Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq. And who could blame them? Who would want to give up their child? Would you? [on George W. Bush] Would he? I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest are always the first to step up, to defend us. They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is remarkably their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?
  • [on Bush] He couldn't get his judges appointed. He had trouble getting his legislation passed, and he lost Republican control of the Senate. His approval ratings in the polls began to sink. He was already beginning to look like a lame duck president. With everything going wrong, he did what any of us would do. He went... on vacation
  • As the attack took place, Mr. Bush was on his way to an elementary school in Florida. When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity. When the second plane hit the tower, his chief of staff entered the classroom and told Mr. Bush the nation is under attack. Not knowing what to do, with no one telling him what to do, and with no secret service rushing in to take him to safety, Mr. Bush just sat there, and continued to read "My Pet Goat" with the children. Nearly seven minutes passed with nobody doing anything.
  • The FBI was coming to see Barry, and they weren't there to jazzercise.
  • I couldn't believe that virtually no member of Congress had read the Patriot Act before voting on it. So I decided that the only patriotic thing to do, was for me to read it to them.
  • Meet John Ashcroft. In 2000, he was running for re-election as Senator from Missouri against a man who died the month before the election. The voters preferred the dead guy, so George W. Bush made him his Attorney General. He was sworn in on a stack of Bibles, 'cause when you can't beat a dead guy, you need all the help you can get.
  • [paraphrasing George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four] It's not a matter of whether the war is not real, or if it is, Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or Eastasia but to keep the very structure of society intact.
  • You can understand why the police needed to spy on a group like Peace Fresno. (camera shows the members) Just look at them! (member rolls his eyes) A gathering of terrorists if I ever saw one.
  • Okay, let me see if I've got this straight, old guys in the gym: bad. Peace groups in Fresno: bad. Breast milk: really bad. But matches and lighters on the plane, hey, no problem.
  • The people were afraid so they turn to their leader for help. help from what [Then the politicians sing Let The Eagle Soar].
  • Is it rude to suggest that when the Bush family wakes up in the morning, they might be thinking about what's best for the Saudis, instead of what's best for you or me? 'Cause 1.4 billion just doesn't buy flights out of the country; it buys a lot of love.

George W. Bush

  • I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. [Holding up golf club] Now, watch this drive.
  • Anybody gonna say "nice shot"?
  • [Last lines] There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: Fool me once... shame on...shame on you...if fooled, you can't get fooled again.
  • This is an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.
  • Sure a dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier.
  • [on Saddam Hussein] After all, this is a guy who tried to kill my dad at one time.
  • [on Hussein] He hates the fact, like Al Qaeda does, that we love freedom.
  • [on the Iraqi insurgency] There are some who feel like that if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that's the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on.
  • [on the insurgency] They're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either
  • We wage a war to save civilization itself. We did not seek it. But, we will fight it. And we will prevail.
  • It's amazing what can be done with telephones, faxes...

Other

Lila Lipscomb: The ignorance of everyday people killed my son.

Britney Spears: I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.

Young male in Michigan: ...I was watching TV one day, and they're showing like some of the buildings and areas that had been hit by bombs and things like that, and while I was watching I got to thinking, like "there's parts of Flint that look like that," and we ain't been in a war.

Elderly Woman: [on the invasion of Iraq] We were duped.

John Ashcroft: [to make-up artist] Ok, make me look young!

Dialogue

Narrator: The first time I met him, he had some good advice for me.
Michael Moore: Governor Bush? It's Michael Moore!
George W. Bush: Behave yourself, will ya? Go find real work!

Byron Dorgan: We had some airplanes authorized at the highest levels of our government to fly to pick up Osama Bin Laden's family members and others from Saudi Arabia and transport them out of this country.
Narrator: It turns out that the White House approved planes to pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis. At least six private jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and the Bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country.

Bush: [on the hunt for Osama bin Laden] I just don't spend that much time on it, to be honest.
Narrator: 'Don't spend that much time on it?' Just what kind of President was he?
Bush: I'm a war President!

Female Reporter: You've imprisoned the women. It's a horror!
Taliban Envoy: I'm very sorry for your husband. He must have a difficult time with you

Moore: Is there any terrorist target around here?
Tappahannock Woman: [Gesturing towards the restaurant behind her] We have a big spaghetti supper in here.

Marine Recruiter: You ever thought about bein' a Marine, man?
Potential Recruit: Uh, thought about it, but I got a wife and kid now.
Marine: Even more reason to join.

Narrator: As Bush sat in that Florida classroom, was he wondering if maybe he should have shown up to work more often? Should he have held at least one meeting since taking office to discuss the threat of terrorism with his head of counter terrorism? Or maybe Mr. Bush was wondering why he had cut terrorism funding from the FBI. Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001 that said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes. Or maybe he wasn't worried about the terrorist threat because the title of the report was too vague.
Condoleezza Rice: I believe the title of the report was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.'
Narrator: A report like that might make some men jump, but as in days passed, George W. just went fishing. As the minutes went by, George Bush continued to sit in the classroom. Was he thinking, "I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Which one of them screwed me? Was it the man my daddy's friends delivered a lot of weapons to? Was it that group of religious fundamentalists who visited my state when I was governor? Or was it the Saudis? Damn, it was them." [an image of Hussein appears onscreen] "I think I better blame it on this guy."

[First lines]
Narrator: Was it all just a dream?
Al Gore: God bless you, Florida! Thank you!
Narrator: Did the last four years not really happen? Look, there's Ben Affleck. He's often in my dreams. And the Taxi Driver guy. He was there too. And little Stevie Wonder, he seemed so happy... like, like a miracle had taken place. Was it a dream? Or was it real?

Taglines

  • The temperature where freedom burns!
  • This July the fireworks will fly
  • Your country. Your future. Your movie.
  • This summer Michael Moore turns up the heat.
  • Controversy? What Controversy?

Cast

External links

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