Fahrenheit 9/11

For once the hype is true: Michael Moore outdoes himself as a polemicist, surveying the presidency of George W. Bush as if our lives depended on it. He’s grown in ambition both as a documentary filmmaker and as a tactician, showing restraint and using other voices when necessary. (His depiction of the World Trade Center attacks of September 2001 is especially powerful.) To expect this eloquent and multifaceted statement of rage to be any more “objective” than our evening news would be naive–especially when Moore uses so many selected nuggets from the evening news to make his points. More generally, however, this Cannes prizewinner delivers a wealth of information that the U.S. major media have been skirting, and it registers with a good deal of common sense and simple humanity. There are plenty of laughs whenever Moore wants to twist the knife, but the bottom line is that he respects and trusts his fellow Americans a lot more than Bush does. 116 min. Reviewed this week in Section One. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Crown Village 18, Davis, Esquire, Gardens 7-13, Lake, Landmark’s Century Centre.

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