Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11
by Callan Bentley

Yesterday afternoon, I waited for an hour in a line that stretched out
the theater and into the parking lot for a sold-out showing of the new
"Fahrenheit 9/11." The show before was sold out as well, and the one
The film has already broken the previous box office records for
films. Its opening-weekend revenues are projected to surpass the TOTAL
revenue from director Michael Moore's previous film, the Academy Award
winning "Bowling for Columbine." No documentary has ever gotten this
sort of
attention, and after seeing it, I can see why. When it ended, there was
stunned silence for about five seconds, and then the entire theatre
in applause, which was sustained for about a minute. I haven't ever
people applaud a movie before.

Here's a review from a Republican who saw the film:

"I am a Republican and I came to see this film with my wife so that I
have some intelligent criticism to level at the Michael Moore fans I
with. I was expecting a sloppy, fuzzy, highly manipulated treatment.
Instead, Bush Administration damns itself through its own actions, its
words, its own lies...all documented for prosperity. Is the film
Hell, yes. But I can't see how any reasonable person would call this
propaganda. It is documentary fact told by a man with a specific agenda
telling it. But there it is on the screen. Fact. It can't be explained
And as for criticism that the film is disrespectful to President Bush;
after what we did to Clinton I would expect W. to take the heat like a
The only problem is that the Clinton issue was nothing to the moral
of this administration. Every Republican should see it before he casts
vote this November. It changed my vote."

So: people who are 'on the fence' before seeing it may be persuaded to
against Bush in the fall election. But me? Moore's preaching to the
choir. I
didn't learn anything new in this film -- it's all facts that have been
documented in the media in the past four years. And being of an indignant
liberal frame of mind, I've spent much of my time reading books and
articles about these topics during that period, and so learned about
same facts Moore displays in the film. However, some of the people I
went to
see the movie with did not know about the Bush family connection to the
Saudi royal family, Bush's connection (via James R. Bath) to Osama bin
Laden's half-brother, and Cheney's company's profits from the Iraq war.
some of its most chilling scenes, the film also documents the
level of carnage that the Iraq War has wrought on both the people of
country and on our own soldiers fighting there. So the film does a good
bringing out the facts for those of us who haven't delved into the
already. And, amazingly, it does it in an entertaining way. For those
don't have the time or inclination to read "House of Bush, House of
"Gas War," "Against All Enemies," or "Dude, Where's My Country?", this
puts the facts in a line, and you can absorb it all in two hours while
you're scarfing a jumbo bucket of popcorn.

So -- while I didn't need any conversion, the film definitely got me
up. I will be working hard to de-seat Bush in November. I am motivated
to do
everything in my power to get Mr. Bush voted out of the White House,
thereby begin the process of undoing the damage he has inflicted on the
U.S.'s international reputation.

Regardless of your political persuasion, I'd urge you to seek out the
about our nation's current political situation, and engage in
dialogue with your neighbors. One way to get some of the facts is to
this film. This film is an opinion piece -- but the facts that support
opinion are irrefutable. As the Republican viewer above noted, "the
Administration damns itself through its own actions, its own words..."

If there is any Republican out there who wants to arrange a "trade"
with me
(e.g. I'll listen to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity for two hours if you
"Fahrenheit 9/11"), then I will be willing to do so -- and then we can
afterwards. If there are any Republicans (or Independents, or whoever)
either cannot afford to see the film, or who do not want to pay their
to Michael Moore, I will buy your ticket. In exchange, the deal is that
would need to have a conversation about the movie afterwards.

I will also be happy to take any questions about the movie, or after
seen it, about the facts of our government's actions. You can e-mail me
call me. Let's talk about what's going on.

Referring to the responsibilities of citizens under a corrupt regime,
Declaration of Independence states, "...when a long train of abuses and
usurpations... evinces a design to reduce them under absolute
Despotism, it
is [the citizens'] right, it is their duty, to throw off such
and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Such is our duty in the months ahead.

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