It’s Friday evening, and from time to time we take off the suits (bunny suits, mind you) and open up the floor for discussion of things off topic. As with all "political content," feel free to ignore it if this kind of stuff gets your blood boiling. You’ve been warned. Heat. Kitchen. And probably plenty of :rolleyes: lie below the discussion link.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Michael Moore’s new "documentary" Fahrenheit 9/11 opens in theatres across the US today. It is expected to outperform any such documentary before it, despite the movie’s rather vocal opponents. It’s already setting one-day records in New York City, and today’s opening is suspected to be quite large. The question is: are you going to see it? Why or why not?
I think Roger Ebert has already said it best when he noted that all documentaries have a "point of view." It simply is not the case that all documentaries are unbiased except for those that we don’t like, which we then see as magically "biased," and refuse to call them documentaries. That said, one would be hard pressed to call just anything a documentary, and this is where Moore draws much ire — what are the boundaries between political sabotage, artful propaganda, telling it like it seems, and proffering truth?
In many cases, the answers depend not on principles, but on how far someone is willing to ride along before embracing or rejecting the movie’s content. However, unlike Bowling for Columbine, this time Moore is flat-out telling the public what this is: an op-ed cast in film, aimed at hurting Bush’s chance for reelection. Does such an aim wrapped in the guise of a "documentary" make the film "dangerous," or should we embrace political activism as something that encourages thought, discussion, and dare I say it, dissention?