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Fahrenheit 9/11 by Moore, Michael

Winner/Best Picture/2004 Cannes Film Festival - Palme D'or. Since 2004, Fahrenheit 9/11 has been released in 42 more countries and holds the record for highest box office receipts by a general release documentary.


  • Politically Provocative
  • Criticizes Corporate Media
  • Controversial Facts and Footage

Politically Provocative
One of the most controversial and provocative films of the year, Fahrenheit 9/11 is muckraker Michael Moore's searing examination of the Bush administration's actions in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11. With his characteristic humor and dogged commitment to uncovering the facts, Moore criticizes the presidency of George W. Bush and his War on Terrorism agenda.

Criticizes Corporate Media
The documentary also has theme of criticizing the American corporate media for being "cheerleaders" for the war in Iraq, and not providing an accurate and objective analysis of what led to the Iraq invasion and the resulting casualties there.

Controversial Facts and Footage
Through facts, footage and interviews, Moore illustrates how - and why - Bush and his inner circle avoided pursuing the Saudi connection to 9/11, despite the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis and Saudi money had funded Al Qaeda. Fahrenheit 9/11 shows The United States as a nation kept in constant fear by FBI alerts and lulled into accepting a piece of legislation, the USA Patriot Act, that infringes on basic civil rights. It is in this atmosphere of confusion, suspicion and dread that the Bush Administration makes its headlong rush towards war in Iraq - and Fahrenheit 9/11 takes us inside that war to illustrate the awful human cost to U.S. soldiers and their families.

The film generated a great deal of controversy as it was released in the United States on June 25, 2004 in the run up to that year's presidential election (Bush vs Kerry. The title derives from Ray Bradbury's dystopian Science Fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 and the September 11, 2001 attacks. Bradbury did not actually support the use of the name. Fahrenheit 9/11 has been denounced by some as misleading propaganda, and praised by others as a valuable perspective on the Bush administration's response to 9/11 that the American media have not broadcast. Michael Moore himself has called it an opiniated piece while vehemently defending its factual accuracy. The Los Angeles Times described the film as "an alternate history of the last four years (2000-2004) on the U.S. political scene."

Historic Interest

  • Sign of the Times
  • The 2004 election campaign
  • The film's impact

Sign of the Times
In 2004, the war on terror had taken form of a full scale war in Iraq, clouding the situation in Afghanistan. While there was heated debate worldwide about the legitimacy of the war, in the United States citizens had little access to contrasting opinion. Most media where cheering the war out of fear of being seen as unpatriotic. When Michael Moore tried to release Fahrenheit 9/11 in the run up to the 2004 presidential election between Bush and Kerry, he met stiff opposition. After being averted by many distributors, his film was finally released by Lions Gate Films in partnership with Fellowship Adventure Group. Yet the film had been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America (the R rating requires anyone under the age of 17 to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian, otherwise they will not be admitted).

The 2004 election campaign
The 2004 election campaign was widely seen as a referendum on the conduct of the War on Terror. Bush defended the actions of his administration, while Kerry contended that the war had been fought incompetently, and that the Iraq War was a distraction from the War on Terror, not a part of it.

The film's impact
One of Moore's stated aims in making the documentary was to prevent Bush from being reelected in 2004. He did not succeed in his aims. On Tuesday November 2nd, 2004 President, Republican George W. Bush, was reelected to a four year term. Yet, the film did succeed in throwing some doubt upon the Bush administration which has gradually led to low approval ratings in its second term (36% in April 2006).

Moore, Michael
Copyright Holder
Jim Czarnecki & Kathleen Glynn
123 min.
Year of release

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