Monday, August 23, 2004

Excerpt from Guardian newspaper story

I'm on Michael Moore's mailing list. In his latest email, he posts an article from The Guardian, one of the U.K.'s largest and most respected daily newspapers. It was written by the acclaimed author John Berger (winner of the Booker Prize.)

The article is entitled:
THE BEGINNING OF HISTORY
Fahrenheit 9/11 has touched millions of viewers across the world. But could it actually change the course of civilisation?


Here is an excerpt from it:

The film proposes that the White House and Pentagon were taken over in the first year of the millennium by a gang of thugs so that US power should henceforth serve the global interests of the corporations: a stark scenario which is closer to the truth than most nuanced editorials. Yet more important than the scenario is the way the movie speaks out. It demonstrates that - despite all the manipulative power of communications experts, lying presidential speeches and vapid press conferences - a single independent voice, pointing out certain home truths which countless Americans are already discovering for themselves, can break through the conspiracy of silence, the atmosphere of fear and the solitude of feeling politically impotent.

It's a movie that speaks of obstinate faraway desires in a period of disillusion. A movie that tells jokes while the band plays the apocalypse. A movie in which millions of Americans recognise themselves and the precise ways in which they are being cheated. A movie about surprises, mostly bad but some good, being discussed together. Fahrenheit 9/11 reminds the spectator that when courage is shared one can fight against the odds.

In more than a thousand cinemas across the country, Michael Moore becomes with this film a people's tribune. And what do we see? Bush is visibly a political cretin, as ignorant of the world as he is indifferent to it; while the tribune, informed by popular experience, acquires political credibility, not as a politician himself, but as the voice of the anger of a multitude and its will to resist.

There is something else which is astounding. The aim of Fahrenheit 9/11 is to stop Bush fixing the next election as he fixed the last. Its focus is on the totally unjustified war in Iraq. Yet its conclusion is larger than either of these issues. It declares that a political economy which creates colossally increasing wealth surrounded by disastrously increasing poverty, needs - in order to survive - a continual war with some invented foreign enemy to maintain its own internal order and security. It requires ceaseless war.

Thus, 15 years after the fall of communism, a decade after the declared end of history, one of the main theses of Marx's interpretation of history again becomes a debating point and a possible explanation of the catastrophes being lived.

It is always the poor who make the most sacrifices, Fahrenheit 9/11 announces quietly during its last minutes. For how much longer?

There is no future for any civilisation anywhere in the world today which ignores this question. And this is why the film was made and became what it became. It's a film that deeply wants America to survive.

4 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for posting that very incisive review of Farenheit 9/11. I am a heart-bleeding liberal and a huge Michael Moore fan (although I am not on his mailing list, I should really join it.) I saw the movie while in Paris this summer (I'm French, but have lived in the U.S. for 29 years), the day after having seen a great French documentary titled "Le Monde selon Bush" ("The World According to Bush"), whose content was, in a way, very similar than that of Farenheit 9/11. Both films complemented each other very well, and both had huge audiences -- the mostly French audience applauded at the end of "The World According to Bush," but not at the end of "Farenheit 9/11" (I heard that in many movie theaters in the U.S., the audience would applaude at the end of the movie.)

I will read more of your blog. You sound very interesting, and your profile is quite amazing. Good for you for having landed on your own two feet after a rough spot in your life.

J. Marquis said...

Michael Moore is not perfect but he has great courage and a profound love for this country. He understands that fairness should be recognized as one of the most important American values and justice can only be won if you're willing to stick your neck out.

Lizzy said...

Thank you for the great comments. When I figure out how to link to other blogs, I hope you both wouldn't mind if I linked to yours.

Elisabeth said...

No problem with linking to my blog. I like the circulation.