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Movie Review: Fahrenheit 11/9

Michael Moore’s latest offering, Fahrenheit 11/9, recently premiered on September 21. Through the film, the far-left filmmaker attempts to look at America post-2016 election and answer two fundamental questions: “How the f**k did we get here, and how the f**k do we get out?”

Moore made a personal appearance at the D.C. premiere, where he spoke about the importance of this movie’s call to action for the Democratic Party. Yet, despite the fact that the film’s title directly references the day after the election, he emphasized that the movie was “not about Trump.”

The movie jumps around a lot, forcing the viewer to “hang in there” until Moore makes his ultimate point: America has always leaned left, but that political inclination isn’t accurately represented in today’s politics. To change this, people must come out and vote.

The movie begins on November 8, 2016, at the Javits Center where Hillary Clinton’s campaign held her election-night watch party. The crowd is shocked when the networks call the election for Donald Trump. Then the movie jumps back to what Moore believes is the reason President Donald Trump ran for election in the first place—the answer? Gwen Stefani. (Apparently, Donald Trump only ran for president to show NBC that he was more popular than Gwen Stefani, a judge on “The Voice,” and therefore, he should be paid more as the host of “The Apprentice.”) Another jump then describes Trump’s relationship with his daughter, which is cast in a creepy sexual light. Moore also lets loose with juvenile and hyperbolic Hitler comparisons.

Moore chose to focus more time and attention, however, on the Flint water crisis and the Parkland shooting, revisiting topics from the two films that built his reputation as a documentarian: Roger & Me (a polemic against General Motors’ decision to close plants in Flint) and Bowling for Columbine (a gun control propaganda film).  But, even on topics familiar to him, Moore relies on misinformation or blatantly ignores the truth. Fahrenheit 11/9 is filled with unproven claims, conspiracy theories, malicious criticisms, and outright propaganda for Moore’s far-Left agendas.

The Flint water crisis­­ was a major problem, caused by mismanagement at all levels — local, state, and federal — of the government. But Moore makes the outrageous tinfoil-hat claim that the water crisis was a “planned ethnic cleansing” of the mostly African-American community of Flint by Republican Governor Rick Snyder. Moore fails to marshal any proof to defend this accusation besides an email showing Snyder was made aware of water quality issues; of course, the memo to Snyder never mentioned lead poisoning and only brought up minor health concerns. Moore also tries to put the blame of this crisis solely on the Republican Party. However, he neglects to mention that Flint’s Democratic mayor and city council had decided before Snyder to change the source of the city’s water (a contributing cause to the crisis).

Moore also points a finger at his old adversary General Motors (GM), the villain of his first documentary Roger & Me, which chronicled the economic depression of Flint, Michigan, following the closure of GM’s plants. According to Moore, GM knew Flint’s water had lead in it and switched to a clean source so that its car parts would not become rusty. In fact, GM officials were among the first to report concerns with Flint’s water. GM noted that the city had massively increased chlorine levels in the water to combat fecal coliform bacteria. GM was concerned about the impact this would have on employees and materials, but GM did not have any prior knowledge of lead in the water. Moore also left out GM’s large donations of time and money to help the Flint community.

Fahrenheit 11/9’s coverage of the Parkland shooting urges viewers to conclude that banning firearms is a good idea. But the film errs when it claims that “78% of Americans don’t own a gun.” Moore pulled this stat from a 2016 Harvard-Northeastern study. However, this statistic comes from a polling survey whose full results have not been released; other polling from Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that 40 percent of households are gun-owning (and Pew found that half of non-gun-owners “could see themselves owning a gun” for good measure). The use of this misleading statistic undergirds Moore’s assertion that most Americans support a gun ban because most of them do not even own a gun.

Moore also targets Democrats in the film for their insufficient revolutionary zeal. He shows that former President Barack Obama ordered more drone strikes than any other sitting president, took large sums of money from Goldman Sachs, and detained numerous illegal immigrants. He also goes after Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), calling them too moderate and highlighting their mismanagement of the Democratic Party. Moore also covers the Democratic National Committee’s seemingly biased actions against far-left U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) during the 2016 primary races.

Even though the film ostensibly “is not about Trump,” Moore still seems salty about the 2016 election: “You can’t call it [America] a democracy when the person who wins the most votes, loses.” (Ignore the inconvenient facts that Hillary Clinton did not win a majority of the popular vote; that right-aligned candidates Trump and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (L) combined for more popular votes than Clinton and far-left Green Party nominee Jill Stein combined; and that everyone knew the rules — and many left-wingers hailed an invincible “Blue Wall” — before the votes were cast: Moore’s rolling.) Maybe this is what he means when he says, “The America I want to save is the America we never had.” There are reasons the electoral college is in place. But Moore is only preaching to his own choir—and a small choir at that.

Perhaps that’s why the movie underperformed by Moore’s standards—it was a box office flop bringing in a modest $3 million during the first week.

Trey Conrad

Trey Conrad graduated from Liberty University in May 2018 with a degree in international relations and strategic intelligence. His favorite part of interning at CRC is honing his writing skills…
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