Fahrenheit 9/11 isn’t going to change anybody’s minds. It’s a good film, don’t get me wrong, but the journeys it leads you on begin firmly in the anti-Bush hemisphere of the globe. At the bare, unrealistic minimum, you would have to be right on the equator of indecision. (After all, who is undecided about this issue?) Moore assumes you are already aware of the deception and trickery that this administration has foisted upon the public. He assumes that you are already against the war, although many of the images are strong enough to remind both pro and against of the horrors it brings.
The film preaches directly to the anti-Bush choir, and it does so quite well. It gives them a good deal of fresh ammunition, along with a lot of genuine laughter. The USA PATRIOT Ice Cream Truck was hilarious! The movie will be most successful, though, as a bellows to stoke the fires of those of us who want him out. If Michael Moore’s real goal with this film is to help provoke political discussion that will lead to the removal of Bush, he should arrange for a series of free or low-cost screenings of the film at large social events a few months before the election. For example, Chicago holds an outdoor film festival every fall. Universities might show the film “on the lawn,” and invite local townsfolk to come join them. The point is to pump the bellows a month before the election to help keep the fire burning in peoples’ hearts.
The film does carry an R rating, and I was very curious why. Hedda had mentioned to me that some large corporations had spent something like $2 billion to coerce the ratings board into choosing an R rating over PG-13. While that may be true and despicable, the film really does garner an R rating on its own accord by showing graphic scenes of the aftermath of our war. It’s definitely not a movie for children in its current form, but hopefully an edited version will be released suitable for younger audiences. The current rating precludes a large population of potential passionate volunteers in the fight against Bush from seeing the film.