Fahrenheit 9/11: Ten Years Later / by Aaron Bouchard

Yes, I am going to write about Michael Moore (as a filmmaker) and his film Fahrenheit 9/11 (as a film).

Once you stop seething and foaming from the mouth, let me know.

To begin with, Moore is an entertainer first and foremost. Like all films, documentary or not, Fahrenheit is entertainment. This goes deeper than Moore's fans and detractors, it goes into basic of documentary theory. Documentaries are not news although they might be based on fact they are not to be taken as truth. Films are the equivalent magic shows, you are to believe something manufactured without seeing how it was done. Anyone who takes the truth from one source only to later find out that source is wrong has no one to blame but themselves.

Certain publications have argued that Moore is not a very good filmmaker, which seems plays partially into political opinion. Fahrenheit is a essay style documentary combined with up-to-the-minute events. This leads to the film's over-all structure being considerably messy. Certain people or topics are are shown briefly sometimes without explanation. If you were not living through 2000-2004 or well versed on that period of time references, drama, even jokes will likely not make any sense in the film. Moore makes films that are very much based in pop-culture, but he still has a way with creating some stunning and memorable pieces of film making that transcend the timeliness of the films.

During the films opening credits , he shows politicians being human. They smile, they laugh, they are imperfect.

These are the same people he will spend the rest of the film demonizing, but it seems for a minute, Moore wants you to see that these politicians are just people. Technically, there is nothing particularly remarkable about this sequence, but it is footage we are not always privy to. In that way it is almost more fascinating and so many questions abound like 'what are they getting ready for?', 'for what network?' and 'what kind of foundation does former vice president Cheney use?'

The sequence that immediately follows the opening credits sets up the the morning of September 11th in New York City.

Moore avoids showing the same images and video that we saw on repeat for days, months, years on end, after the event. He instead chooses to focus on the audible chaos and the human response. The viewer can probably guess what is going on within just a few seconds, but the sound design keeps building more and more chaoticly. Having not been in New York City at the time, I can only imagine that this is probably a small feeling of what it was like. We are also shown people's varying reactions to the on-going crisis. People of all ethnicity and age are shown in shock. This effected everyone, the film says.

As much as more injects himself into his own films, there are certain times he knows when not to. A majority of Fahrenheit is devoid of him and his voice which only chimes in at certain times to add comedy to what he sees as an over-all tragedy. No matter how many films Moore makes, viewers politics will likely determine their opinion of his work. Since Fahrenheit, many films have been made in a similar style, but Moore's pension for basic entertainment will be what always keep his films one step ahead.