Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 is a provocative and comedic look at the times in which we live. It will explore the two most important questions of the Trump Era.
One thing about Michael Moore—he is never dull. Controversial? Yes. Dull? No. He gives evidence for some of his opinions—yes. He gives evidence for all his opinions—no. While he is brilliant at being a showman and carefully selecting his material, he sometimes pretends to know a person’s motive or intent without illustrating sufficient evidence. He is gifted at editing, the tone of his films, and the monologues he gives. The filmmaker’s previous notable documentaries include Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine, and Fahrenheit 9/11. This time he turns the numbers around and gives us Fahrenheit 11/9 which was the date in 2016 when many voters woke up to learn that Trump had been elected president of the United States in the early morning hours. Trump’s rally call of “Make America Great Again!” went over with many but obviously not with all, including Moore.
To be fair to Moore, the liberal Democrat strikes out at his own party almost as much as he does the Republicans. He clearly shows that many of them did not take Trump seriously until it was too late and he was elected. One example of this is actor George Clooney in a clip, making fun of the idea that Trump could ever become president. But Moore is obviously not enamored with Barack Obama either. When the former president traveled to Flint to speak about the poisoned drinking water that contained high levels of lead, the then-president drank a glass of water while speaking, saying he needed it for a cough. But he seemed to be stating he believed the drinking water was safe. To say this act angered a lot of his supporters is to to put it mildly. One woman declared, “He arrived as my president but he is not my president as he leaves.” His seemingly apathetic attitude toward the problem upset many people, including Michael Moore. Moore, ever the showman, in one scene pulls up to Governor Rick Snyder’s mansion and sprays Flint’s water onto his lawn as an obvious statement of his anger. He even tries to make a citizen’s arrest but can’t locate the governor when he goes to the governor’s destination.
This movie contains strong content. There are a few scenes caught on video in which people call black people the “N” word, proof that racism is, sadly, still alive in this country. It also features several people using the “F” bomb and other strong language. In addition, it shows a brief video of the panic of the kids in a classroom in Florida when a recent shooting took place. The N.R.A. and gun control is another controversial topic in this documentary. Also disturbing is Moore’s use of archival footage of Hitler giving a speech and he superimposes President Trump’s voice over the speech. He is even called a fascist in the film. Subtle? Moore is not. Moore cites victories of school teachers in West Virginia that won better pay and the freedom from using a device to track how many steps they walked each day in order not to be penalized by their insurance companies. The common man will relate to several moments in the film, including the scenes of families that lost loved ones to Legionnaire’s disease, due to the Flint water crisis.
The Dove Take
Moore is great at using personal clips, and his showmanship and filmmaking abilities are unquestionable; however, the strong content in this film and his obvious strong stance against conservatives seems hypocritical in his vision for an America that includes all people. Due to the content we are unable to award our Dove Seal to his movie.