Monday, May 17, 2004

Michael Moore gets rave reviews at Cannes

According to this article, Michael Moore's latest documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, has opened to rave reviews at the Cannes film festival.

Even critics of Michael Moore, who cite his past tendency to often play fast and loose with facts and statistics, seemed impressed with this documentary.

Moore, reportedly more scholarly and careful than in past documentaries, argues that the Bush Administration was asleep at the wheel prior to 9/11, then used the attack as a pretext for a war on Iraq.

The film will be distributed nearly everywhere except the United States. Moore has accused Disney, which owns distributor Miramax, of trying to block the film's release in the U.S.; Disney has accused Moore of a publicity stunt. Miramax and Disney are in negotiations to try to allow Miramax to distribute the film in U.S.

Other distributors that had expressed interest, such as Mel Gibson's company, have seemed to lose interest. Gibson's company reportedly lost interest after feeling pressured by a Republican group. Moore has also insisted that any distributors that acquire the film agree to release it before the U.S. election in November.

However, responding to reporters following the extremely enthusiastic reception at Cannes, Moore promised a U.S. distributor would be found in time for the election.

With regards to media manipulation and propaganda, there are certainly some unusual happenings related to the current Administration, as I attest from personal experience. (See "The Pentagon Spy and Me".)

The Administration's links to the Saudis have been a topic of past and promised future posts (The CPD). I feel these links say more about the double-dealing nature of the wealthy Saudis involved than they say about the Bush Administration.

I've also argued against the growing perception of media censorship in the US. (May 12th post) Democracy is simply an information process tool to make important social decisions; censorship and tax-payer funded propaganda distort its mechanisms to favor ruling cliques over the good of the entire society.

It's refreshing that Moore's scholastic accuracy did not disappoint at Cannes, and that feels optimistic the film will ultimately be released in US in time for the election.

In view of the controversy and difficulties, I personally would like to see the film.