Rather than fireworks in the sky, I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 tonight (it’s raining here anyway). What better way to celebrate our independence than to watch someone exercising his freedom of speech, despite some very anti-American attempts to stop him? With all the hype and screaming it’s hard to view this movie objectively, but overall I thought it was excellent.
One of the film’s weaknesses is that Moore is often too repetitive in making his point (it’s about 30 minutes too long). The sections involving Moore ambushing congressmen and others didn’t work too well either. However, most of the film is a carefully laid out narrative using news footage and is very effective – and usually very funny.
Although I enjoyed the movie, I don’t accept everything Moore has to say. And I’ve certainly read the reports which claim there are errors in the film. But I don’t understand the conservative critics who say that the movie shouldn’t be shown because it is biased. No duh! Documentaries are, by their very definition, the telling of a story from the filmmaker’s point of view. This is Michael Moore’s interpretation of the events surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the current Iraq war and anyone buying a ticket certainly knows that by now.
However, Moore is first to admit that his works reflect his opinion of the facts and that he welcomes a healthy debate of issues. At least he’s completely up front about his biases. That’s unlike some "news" organizations, claiming that their reporting is "fair and balanced" while presenting a long parade of talking heads (and Ann Coulter, their resident talking ass) complaining about Moore exercising his Constitutional freedoms – but not arguing the facts.
Happy Independence Day, everyone.
Sidenote: Adam Felber has an excellent post on what makes the Declaration of Independence so unique and special.