Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2004. Fellowship Adventure Group, Dog Eat Dog Films. Screenplay by Michael Moore. Produced by Jim Czarnecki, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Moore. Music by Jeff Gibbs. Production Design by Dina Varano. Film Editing by Kurt Engfehr, Woody Richman, Chris Seward.
Michael Moore follows his successful Bowling For Columbine with this politically heated documentary that he says he made to support his controversial speech at the Academy Awards in March 2003. In it, he lays bare the motivations of US president George W. Bush, whose “holy” war on Iraq was presumably waged to conquer terrorism but more likely had to do with the control of oil resources. Moore points out Bush’s unimpressive response to the September 11th attacks, his use of fear culture and general ignorance to connect the attacks (and the Al-Qaeda network behind them) to Iraq, his family’s ties to the bin Laden family and his own connections to Saudi bigwigs who have major investments in America’s economy. Much of Moore’s commentary is biased, and some might find his research and methods suspect, but it is worth noting that such a huge portion of what you see in the film is stock news footage. There is no secretly or illegally obtained imagery, Moore simply assembling evidence in a comprehensive manner to create a portrait of what he sees as a brainless leader who can hardly string a proper sentence together (and oh he tries!), let alone run a country properly. It is a very worthy film, a bit sloppy in its narrative and sometimes too obviously manipulative, but powerful and affecting and always fascinating.
Cannes Film Festival Award: Palme d’Or