[tig] Congratulations to Michael Moore

Robert Lund robert.lund
Mon May 24 20:48:35 BST 2004

Rich Torpey wrote:

>Hi Bob,
>"Godard, who hadn't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, compared it unfavourably to the
>work of American documentarian Frederick Wiseman. "It's like two different
>worlds," Godard said."
>I trust you have seen the film you're commenting on unlike Godard?
Your trust is misplaced, monsieur, or sarcastic, as the film has not 
been released here, and I trust you know I have not seen it.

My comments were not about the quality of the filmmaking, which would 
depend more upon seeing the actual film. My comments were prompted by 
all that I have read regarding the content and intent of this film. It 
may indeed be a very well-constructed and cleverly-edited "documentary", 
but surely no one can be so naive as to believe that it received a 
20-minute standing ovation based on its cinematographic quality. 
Regardless of what Tarantino and other jurists claim to the press, all 
the hub-bub over this work is because of its strident anti-American 
message; Moore skillfully manipulates imagery so as to convey his 
particular negative view of the government, based on descriptions I've 
read of various film sequences, and our former ally France presented the 
perfect setting for its debut.

If we are to trust that your advice to this group that "it's worth 
spending two hours of your life to watch a film like this one" is based 
on the quality of the filmmaking without regard to its potentially 
dangerous effect on viewers' minds, or to its possibly one-sided 
presentation of reality, as was the case with his previous Bowling film, 
I can only say I was motivated to post my initial response offering 
alternate views on his work because I consider content as important as 
form when judging the worth of a work purported to be a documentary.

I did not see Bowling for Columbine in its entirety; I saw several 
segments of it on Moore's site, and the animated cartoon presenting 
Moore's version of the history of the US, which in itself was a sham, a 
disgrace, and fodder for anti-US rhetoric the world over. I've read many 
analyses of the way editing was used to present events and conversations 
out of context, and many comments by people interviewed in that film who 
were angry at how they were duped into speaking on camera and 
misrepresented in the final work. I do intend to see F 911, but I have 
no reason to believe Moore has experienced any sudden enlightenment 
which would have altered his message and tactics in the interim.

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