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Fahrenheit 9/11

The temperature where freedom burns 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Fahrenheit 9/11

This latest documentary from celebrated cynic Michael Moore is a film about the complex relationship between the Bush family, Saudi investment and the benefits of war and terrorism for leading members of the Republican Party.

Is this an objective presentation of the evidence that the Bush presidency is compromised by the involvement of both Georges with companies owned or dependent on Saudi money? Does it present a fair discussion of the idea that the real reason for going to war against Saddam Hussein was the potential profits to be gained by the companies associated with senior republicans to rebuild Iraq and exploit the oil? Does it offer a balanced view of the argument that the threat of terrorism enables a right wing American government to curtail political freedom? The answer is of course, NO!

9/11 itself is presented in an original and understated way with images of frightened people watching the events above them, as dust and paper rain on Manhattan. This is synonymous with footage of what George.W.Bush was doing immediately after he had been told that a plane had flown into the World Trade Centre, that America was under attack. He was sitting in the kindergarten he was visiting, reading 'My Pet Goat' to a class of kids and not knowing what to do about the sudden news. There follows seven minutes of the President sitting with the book in his hands and a slightly worried look on his face.

The war is presented from the perspective of its victims, both in Iraq and America. There are many gory images from the wounded, and survivors, of Iraq; but this does not seem excessive because it's not special effects, it's real. Towards the end of the film Moore focuses on the bereaved families and disheartened soldiers, and seeing their grief so real and personal is utterly moving.

Like Bowling for Columbine this film combines humour, information and poignant true stories. Even if you don't agree with Moore's hugely biased interpretation of recent events this film still presents a fascinating insight into a moment in history that will be talked about for years to come.

Mervyn Trone

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)