Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
Can a movie change the world? Michael Moore is giving it his best shot, carrying his all-out assault on George W Bush into the Cannes Film Festival on a wave of anti-corporate hype – Disney won’t distribute it – and carrying it back home with the ultimate in Film Festival trophies: the Palme d’Or. European audiences like nothing better than an American criticising America, but the real question is: now that they’ve heard about it, how will the people of heartland America respond to it? At simultaneous premiere screenings at the Auckland and Wellington Film Festivals, New Zealanders have their first chance to assess the power of Moore’s impassioned attempt to preach to the unconverted and send them fuming to the polls.
“It was strident, passionate, sometimes outrageously manipulative and often bafflingly selective in its material, but Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was a barnstorming anti-war/anti-Bush polemic tossed like an incendiary device into the crowded Cannes festival… This was an exhilarating and even refreshing film, especially coming at a time when political commentators on either side of the Atlantic – progressives and ex-progressives alike – are apparently too worldly and sophisticated to be angry about the war.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now… No one would ever accuse Michael Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.” — Frank Rich, NY Times