Whether you love him or not, one thing is indisputable, Michael Moore is one of our last impassioned provocateurs. The man behind (and in front of) the camera who helmed the classic documentaries “Bowling for Columbine“ and “Fahrenheit 9/11” is back with another striking and wonderfully percussive film, titled “Fahrenheit 11/9.”
Here, his target is the election of Donald Trump and its aftermath.
Right from the start, there are images of red and blue confetti laced Hillary Clinton supporters as Katy Perry’s “Fight Song” plays. Moore says in voiceover “Was is it all just a dream?”
Then it cuts to the joyous roaring packs of red-hatted Trumpmen who suddenly realize the tide has turned. These images are shocking, jittery and profound with power and they may well hit you in the gut. The beginning has all the jolt of a horror film.
Moore gives snapshots of Trump rally fervor showing the gloating man who is big and orange and puffed up. One of the most eerie moments occur during the credits: a hand brushes a cheek just so, a finger traces a strand of hair. There is a pallete of yellow paint. This is Trump as a wax figure. When the film suddenly blurs into the human Trump it is almost impossible to tell which is which.
Moore clearly shows Trump’s insidious reach, as if the current president has a thousand tiny hands that grab everything in his path, including the desire for his daughter, Ivanka. This is summed up in one word: Greed.
One Trump figure is Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan who Moore exposes as lying and knowingly giving lead-tainted water to some 10,000 children in Flint Michigan. The rotten political apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: Trump and Synder are in very friendly touch and he supports his policies.
But arguably most dispiriting of all is the image of Obama (during his journey to Flint) specifically asking for a glass of tap water to drink and only touching the glass to his lips in full view of a shocked and incredulous audience. Worse still, President Obama sent the US Army to Flint to practice military exercises including gunfire and explosives.
No resident of Flint was ever notified.
Along with these horrors in addition to immoral drone strikes, Barack Obama himself seems to have indeed paved the way for Trump and the rest is history, all of it backward, boorish, offensive and cringe-worthy.
Moore offers a sliver of hope with the introduction of a new democratic leader Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez and the Parkland shooting surviors. The Stoneman Douglas footage is visceral and ripping. With each scream, you will ponder the absurdity of the AR-15 rifle, its military grade ability and how easy it is to procure for lethal purpose, especially in the hands of a minor.
There are images of Adolf Hitler lip-synching Donald Trump and one could easily say this is preposterous, a pointed jest, except for the president’s own damning words during the murder in Charlottesville, that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
“Farenheit 11/9″’s last moment goes to Stoneman Douglas’ Emma Gonzalez, who is 100% human and real. Her face in closeup is wistful, pensive, angry, forlorn, fearless and unapologetically concentrated. And it will stand forever in cinema history.
Mr. Michael Moore does not pull any punches and he is to be commended for it. As he points out, (at times with a laser focus and at times messily) there is only one way to go: vote for a new kind of democrat, one having progressive ideas outside the accepted status quo. Every other person, no matter Republican or Democrat, is poisoned by the Orange Man, the one with a long tie that hangs like a lazy tongue.
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