Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

Went to see it at the local multiplex Saturday night.

My main thought?

RUN - DO NOT WALK - TO SEE THIS FILM! It likely could be one of the most important films of the year, if not the past several years.

Michael Moore nails it on the head, exposing some things about the Bush family and their ties to the Saudi royal family even I didn't know (and I knew much, thanks to constant reading of various web sites like BuzzFlash (http://www.buzzflash.com) other sites.

In a lot of ways, it's a typical Mike film - parts of it will make you laugh, parts of it will sadden you and parts of it will anger you. Supporters of Mike will love it, opponents of Mike will hate it (and if you look at some of the vitriol being pushed out the last several weeks by the far right, it just seems to me that they can dish it out, but they can't take it).

I saw the film at the late show (9.30 pm) at the Kerasotes Showplace 8 in Mattoon, IL. A lot of folks were filing out of the room as it was ending. Couldn't tell what was on their faces, but I'm sure they were moved by what they say.

I made it a point to ask to see the manager and thank her for having the courage and the guts to show this film. I think she appreciated it but told me it wasn't her call. She did tell me there were about three protestors against the film when it first was shown (I think) the previous Wednesday night.

Of course, some of the folks I work with dismissed it. The ME laughed (with a "you silly fool" kind of smirk) when I told him. Of course, he recently wrote in a column that we need a James Bond-type to wipe out all terrorists (and I guess anyone else who he sees as "different" from his world view).

There were, I counted, about 25-30 folks inside the auditorium watchng the film. There were some sounds of anguish and disbelief when there was a scene of a public beheading in Saudi Arabia, of scenes when American troops were "poking fun" at dead Iraqis ("Hey, Ali Baba still has a hard-on!" one "soldier" was heard to say) and at scenes where Iraqi civilians had various body parts blown off or were badly burned by napalm.

*sarcasm mode* Yeah, God Bless America! *sarcasm mood off*

The worst part was an interview conducted with a mother who had a son killed in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in Iraq. She was from Mike's hometown of Flint, MI, and had encouraged her kids to enter the military as a way to get to college. She felt she was a patriotic American who initially saw war protestors with disdain until, she said, she realized they were against the policies, not the rank-and-file soldiers.

After her son's death, she realized just how stupid Bush's war was and, while on a trip to Washington for a conference, paid a visit to the White House grounds. There she saw an anti-war person and mentioned what happened. Just then, someone else came up and tried to rip both of them new ones - even after she told her (in tears and in her face) what happened to her son.

She finally broke apart right in front of the fenced-in gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It was gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching and I just wanted to reach out to her and give her a big hug and let her know her son, wherever he was, was all right.

As I put it when the final credits rolled, "If we don't rise up and get rid of the SOB in November, we're all screwed!" (I actually didn't say "screwed," but you get the idea.)

If you don't see this film and at least come away thinking about what's really going on...

I didn't need Michael Moore telling me we need to get rid of the Bush Cartel in the elections, of course, but it sure reinforced it - with a shot right to the gut.

Too bad some people either can't - or won't - get it.

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