ICONOCLASTIC American documentarist Michael Moore’s latest work reaches us after premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, theatrical release in the US and Canada on September 21 and in Australia on the brink of a US biennial constitutionally-mandated event that in most even-numbered years coincides with the same day that a Melbourne horse race stops the nation.
“Fahrenheit 11/9” is a very scary movie, described in its promotional material as “a provocative and comedic look at the two most important questions of the Trump Era: How the f#%k did we get here, and how the f#%k do we get out?”
It begins in Moore’s home city of Flint, Michigan, where a Republican governor built a pure, urban water supply to replace one heavily contaminated with lead. It ends with archival footage remembering Hitler’s rise in the 1930s and Germany’s Nazi Party.
Its main thematic optimism is the ideological rejoinder by young Americans against Trump’s accession to power, giving examples treating the wealthy and the poor pretty evenly, finding cosmetic faults in Barack Obama having a glass of water on a visit to Flint. It draws back curtains hiding common folk’s accounts of gun control, racism, sexism, religious prejudice and other behaviours, to reveal a lot of ugliness.
We think in Australia that our media outlets tell us how things are as events in the US make headlines there. They don’t. News in most parochial events America never reaches our shore.
You don’t have to have done Political Science 1 to understand the political environment with which “Fahrenheit 11/9” deals. Moore neither suppresses nor brandishes his personal leftist opinions. We should hope that his warnings don’t become reality.
What do current US events hold for Australia? Good question. Wish I knew the answer!
At Palace Electric and Dendy