Guest Blog #23 – Anand C
[No Spoilers Ahead]
Fahrenheit 9/11 and Control Room (made by Jehane Noujaim) were both released within a month of one another. One starts from several parts of the world (Michigan, Texas, Iraq) and concentrates arguments from these multiple sources to mount a
coherent forced attack on the Bush administration. The other starts from a dusty broadcast room (of the Qatar based Arab news agency Al-Jazeera) and paints its view of the outside world through that media lens. One spews hatred and has no pretense of an “independent” film, the other is a sincere portrayal of a very controversial topic, and deserves praise for sticking to its “independent” stand even though there is ample temptation to succumb and ride the controversy wave!
Both leave their mark, but not as staid, sober documentaries.
In an already polarized country, F 9/11 provoked like none other (maybe JFK brought forth this kind of intense reaction…). Democratic groups like MoveOn.org are organizing Fahrenheit parties to get people to carry their anger all the way to the ballot boxes! In fact, it’s probably fair to say Michael Moore is an activist who uses film as his propaganda tool, than a director who portrayed a sensitive (and controversial) issue (judging from his themes in Roger and Me, and Bowling for Columbine).
When Quentin Tarantino handed Michael Moore the first ever Cannes Pale d’Or for a ‘documentary’, he made it evident that the accolade was for the film, not its political statements. Did he see the coming of a new genre before the public did?
Wonder if we are seeing the arrival of the “opinion-entary”?
PS: Stupid comment of the month: Ray Bradbury’s (awesome writer and author of Fahrenheit 451), whining that Michael Moore did not ask him for permission to use the title!