There’s a definite shift in the press toward Michael Moore bashing, I think it’s becoming rather fashionable. So, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed seeing the film, although that is probably a poor choice of words. It was deeply upsetting, as it should be, but also funny and entertaining and sometimes shocking. We are still getting over the whole election debacle that opens the film. Perhaps if that huge fiasco had an alternative outcome, Moore wouldn’t have had a film to make.
But aside from all the positives, there were rumblings that, in being so rabidly antiwar, anti-Bush and anti-oil, Moore slightly and unnecessarily undermined the validity of his argument. When he mockingly listed “The Coalition of the Willing,” why no mention of the UK and its 25,000 troops? Instead, he went for the cheap shot of only mentioning the smaller countries involved. But in doing so, Moore only highlighted his own condescending thoughts and arrogance on the matter. And why no mention of Iraq’s continual targeting of Allied planes during the no-fly-zone patrols? Or of Saddam’s crimes against Kuwaitis and Kurds?
But overall the film had moments of true brilliance. Bush first receiving news of the Twin Towers and evidently clueless on what to do next. Even Moore’s portrayal of the events of 9/11, opting to use a dark screen as backdrop to the sound of the planes exploding followed by close-ups of onlookers’ faces, made it all so much more personal.
I know others will argue that Michael Moore has dumbed things down, manipulated the facts and our emotions through his choices of subject, editing, and music. But when can you say you have ever seen a film that doesn’t do this? Sure, Moore dilutes some things whilst embellishing on others, but perhaps his choices have made for a film that will bring the bigger message to the masses. I think Moore’s talent lies in getting to the people who would never normally dream of paying money to see any documentary in a cinema, let alone a political one.
The film punches all the buttons, just as it was meant too. We laughed, we
cried, and even got mad, but by the end, it left us feeling that Bush wasn’t the only one we would be inclined to distrust.
WOW Movie Club