Moore’s documentary film didn’t last long locally.
Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9: “The film is as much about how the left and the media have failed us as it is about the dangers of Trump.”
My guess is it will have greater success abroad, where people tend to understand realities that we can’t, or won’t, face here in Merica.
Interview: Michael Moore: ‘We have the power to crush Trump’, by Owen Jones (The Guardian)
The director’s latest film, Fahrenheit 11/9, is a broadside against both the president and the Democratic establishment that failed to defeat him. He explains why a leftwing comeback is on the cards
… For young leftists, myself included, Moore’s work was something of a political life-raft back in an era when the traditional left was all but sunk. Fahrenheit 9/11 – his indictment of George W Bush’s so-called war on terror – courageously advanced otherwise marginalised ideas: it suggested that a proposed gas pipeline through Afghanistan may have played a role in the war, and noted links between the Bush administration and the Saudi regime. Moore has called for Bush administration officials to be put on trial. All this strays from the respectable centrist critique of the invasion, that it was simply the wrong war at the wrong time, or a “dumb war”, as Obama put it, rather than a crime.
His documentaries are designed not simply to inform, but to mobilise people. “Yeah, I was hoping to stop the Iraq war, hoping to end gun violence, to ensure every American has health insurance,” he explains. But he is keen to emphasise that his new film, Fahrenheit 11/9 (9 November 2016 being the day Donald Trump was declared US president-elect), is different. “It’s not some single issue, it’s not just about Donald Trump,” he says. “There’s nothing I can tell you about him that you don’t already know. You’d be wasting time and money to watch that.”
For me, one of the strongest elements in the film was his J’accuse against the Democratic party establishment. He seethes with profane rage when he talks about their failures. He makes a parallel with his documentary – he’s down a rabbit hole again: if it’s a great film, if the critics like it, then he’s done his bit as a director, he hands his raw materials to Vertigo, the UK company in charge of distributing the film, it’s on them to make it a success.
It’s an allegory for the Democrats, he suggests. The polling shows that on the key issues, such as progressive taxation, or abortion rights, or healthcare, or gun control, most Americans side with the progressive side of the argument. In the past six out of seven presidential elections, he notes, the Democrats won the popular vote. “So the Democratic party are handed a population which agrees with their entire platform,” he says; they even have more voters. “Yet they’re still unable to put themselves and us in power.” If his film distributor kept doing that, it would go out of business. But here is what happens, his film posits, if the Democrats become too much like the Republicans, too in hock to a corporate agenda …