Fahrenhype 9/11 Reviews
Several weeks ago while reviewing "The Hunting of the President," I mused that I wanted to see a documentary with a conservative point of view to balance all the liberal documentaries out there.
My wish has been granted; prominent Republican Dick Morris and other conservative voices have put together "Fahrenhype 9/11," a pro-Bush rebuttal to Michael Moore?s controversial box-office smash "Fahrenheit 9/11."
"Fahrenhype," now available on DVD, is as sure in its purpose as Moore?s film was. Where Moore used the medium of cinema to discredit George W. Bush and his administration, "Fahrenhype" uses the same medium for opposite means; it aims to discredit Moore and justify the reasons the Bush administration had for going to war.
This column is not intended as an attempt to prove or disprove anything found in either film or to judge the policies of the Bush administration. Regardless of one?s political belief, the events of Sept. 11, its aftermath, and the war in Iraq affect all of us, and that will not change if the winner on Election Day is John Kerry or George W. Bush.
I don?t judge these films based on their politics, but rather on how well they present their case through the cinematic medium. With that said, I feel it is worth noting that unlike so many documentaries-liberal and conservative alike-that feature nothing but talking heads and are incredibly redundant, "Fahrenhype" is a movie. It plays like a movie, using editing effects and music to stir the emotions. It provides some laughs, even taking a shot at John Ashcroft for his eardrum-splitting rendition of "Let the Eagle Soar." It is not shy about using the same techniques that Michael Moore has perfected against him.
"Fahrenhype" presents its rebuttals to almost every section of "Fahrenheit 9/11" clearly and concisely, from the 2000 election to George W. Bush?s vacation time to the military?s recruiting policies. Along the way, the film features soldiers who are for the war and support the president, several Republican members of Congress, and prominent pro-Bush voices like Dick Morris, Sen. Zell Miller, and actor Ron Silver. Yet the film scores the most points when it features an Oregon state trooper who appeared in "Fahrenheit" and did not like the way he was portrayed in the film.
"Fahrenhype" isn't as good as Moore's film; when comparing the styles of Moore and "Fahrenhype" director Alan Peterson, it is obvious that Moore is the superior filmmaker. But Moore also had more time and resources to make his film; considering the limits placed on the filmmakers here, what they have accomplished is admirable from a purely technical standpoint if nothing else.
Overall, I only have one serious gripe about "Fahrenhype 9/11": Was it really necessary to include Ann Coulter among those offering their views? Her borderline psychotic "I-hate-everything-liberal" rants are rather tiresome, and while she doesn?t add anything of substance to the film, she does succeed in taking attention away from others like Morris and Miller, who make some of the strongest points in the movie.
In writing and speaking about "Fahrenheit 9/11," its supporters, and its detractors, I have tended to stay away from that ugly "p" word, propaganda. I realize that Moore?s film does fit the definition perfectly. However, so do television commercials, talk radio, the shout shows on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, internet pop-up ads, and so on and so forth.
The reality is that we are confronted daily with propaganda, and that any type of communication that tries to sway our thoughts is propaganda (like right now, I?m writing propaganda). So if we hold "Fahrenheit 9/11" to that postulate, it becomes clear that "Fahrenhype 9/11" is also a similar type of propaganda, albeit aimed at a different audience with a different ideology.
The political muck in America today is so thick you can?t cut through it with a chainsaw. It?s full of stubborn, hardheaded people who are always right, no matter what. I?ve spoken with liberals who will view "Fahrenheit" but not "Fahrenhype," and I have spoken with conservatives who will take in this film but not cast an eye towards Moore?s. Both sides have then seen it fit to make judgments based on movies they haven?t watched and feel free to debate something when they have no idea what they?re talking about.
That kind of attitude is foolish, close-minded, and most of all, stupid. The solution is obvious: Fire up the DVD player, watch "Fahrenheit 9/11" and listen to Moore make his case. Then watch "Fahrenhype 9/11" and listen to the conservative rebuttal. Then, do the sometimes challenging task of wading through the murk and drawing one?s own conclusions. Considering that it is the duty of those in a free society to be well-informed, I don?t think it?s too much to ask.
And that's my two cents.
waste of time
"One Star out of Four" Be happy you got that Mister.
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