Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fahrenheit 9/11

Last night Fahrenheit 9/11 was aired on British TV's Channel 4. I saw it in the cinema when it first aired over 3 years ago. It was a special airing for the anniversary of 9/11.

Going to see the film had been a special event. A North London theater was filled almost entirely with Americans and a glass of wine was included with the price of admission. There were a few special guests from the host population - like my husband ( at least I thought he was pretty special) and Richard Dawkins - who I think is an asshole. Dawkins was asked to say a few words to the audience - and basically he lambasted the American population for our collective stupidity with a special mention to the unenlightened Red-Staters. I was fuming.

About the film itself - I remembered relatively little. Except for the powerful twin towers montage that never actually showed the towers. That was still brilliant, stunning and emotional. But a lot of the other elements of the film seemed a bit strange, from a time gone by, even though it came out nearly three years ago.

Clearly the piece was designed to damage Bush's reelection chances. That didn't seem to work. There were lots of references to the cosy relationships between the Bush family and Saudi families - including the Bin Ladens with an almost catch phrase like "that's something the Bushes didn't want the American people to know." Well, now we do know and it seems like most people just didn't care.

I had forgotten, too just how many different angles Michael Moore uses...ok, the Bush clan is in hock to the Saudis - so they didn't pursue them after 9/11 like they should have - but wait - the Saudis didn't actually want a US invasion of Iraq this time - so, huh? No wonder people didn't manage to take a clear message away from this film.

There's another montage in the film of happy smiling Iraqis during the Saddam Hussein years. I remember thinking "Yeah, right - like life was so rosy under Saddam." But now, and in comparison to the sectarian slaughter...well, I certainly don't want to defend that torturous madman, but gosh Iraq ain't the country it used to be (except maybe in the Kurdish areas - though even that's starting to get nasty, too).

I kept thinking how much things had moved on since that time. Indeed, how much worse things have become.


9/11 - 3/11 -7/7 - Never forget.


Debby said...

I *wanted* to like Fahrenheit 9/11. To my dying day I will believe that the US goverment failed in its post 9/11 reaction. I can't stand the movie and what it did. Instead of moving the US population to drive Bush out of office, the rampant emotionalism and slippery facts gave the Republicans the edge.

KathyF said...

Well, WE know--you and I--about the Bushes's love for their Saudi kin. But the vast majority of the American population doesn't know, nor do they know just how repressive the Saudi regime is. They think of Saudis as Texas oilmen who like to wear robes. Good ol' boys with beards.

Who chop people's heads and appendages off and use them to decorate the royal palace, but hey, they're rich, and rich people are expected to be eccentric.

KathyF said...

Oh, and what happened on 3/11? That's my daughter's birthday. My other one was born on Pearl Harbor Day, so if there's something awful about March 11 (or November 3?) I may very well be some sort of Doomday Mother.