Filmmaker Michael Moore often gets accused of playing loose with the facts in his films. It’s the single most common complaint I hear when I bring up the name of the most successful documentarian—at least from a financial standpoint—in the history of film. I will readily concede that Moore does, in some instances, bend and shape the material to suit his own agenda. Still, what sets him apart from his counterparts on the opposite side of the political fence is that where his polar opposites just completely manufacture their own so-called truths, there’s generally some basis in fact to the points that Moore is trying to get across in his films.
Also, it helps that Moore is a proficient filmmaker who knows how to entertain an audience while also finding a way to alert them to some of the harsher truths of life in these United States. If only his competition had the same level of skill at their disposal then, perhaps, some of the films crafted by his debunkers might be held in less contempt. I’m not going to say that Michael Moore has broken any new ground with only his second film in the last decade but it certainly gives one pause for thought. He may be treading on familiar territory but the ground he’s covering is certainly deserving of the treatment that it’s given in the film. And for anyone thinking that this film is just strictly a takedown of the current presidential administration then let me be clear by saying that this is a film that takes equal aim at both sides of the political fence. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, along with Moore himself, are only a few who are taken to task in the film for the current scenario in which we find ourselves.
The film opens with footage of election night 2016 with Hillary Clinton being the presumed winner of the election by all of the major networks. This is intercut with footage of what was going on in the Trump camp at the same time that Clinton was literally practicing her acceptance speech. Moore uses this as the launching pad for a discourse on how we arrived at this moment and how bad things might get if we continue on the present day course.
The film also powerfully examines the water crisis in Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan. That section is where former President Obama comes off looking the worst in his response to the situation.
The current epidemic of mass shootings is also examined along with the massive protests carried out by grieving and angry students who want things to change. Fahrenheit 11/9 is ultimately a hopeful movie as personified by the younger segment of the population who are seen in the film running for political offices in large numbers in an effort to possibly make a change for the better. As dire as things can get Moore likes to remind us that there’s always hope. I’m glad his films are there to give us some light in such dark times.
According to the AMC Hickory website, Fahrenheit 11/9 will be playing in Hickory for the next week.
Questions or comments? Write Adam at [email protected].