Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 falls short of its promise

Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 falls short of its promise

By Ellen Ratner   
Published

LOS ANGELES — Like any good liberal, I went to see Michael Moore’s recent documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

Moore wanted to make a documentary about the 2016 race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. If that is what this movie is about, it gets lost in his need to put himself in the movie and to talk about his concerns with Flint, Michigan. If he was concerned about Flint, Michigan (and he should be, as all Americans should be) then he should have made another movie, kept to the storyline, and kept himself out of it. He shows that then-President Barack Obama did nothing to help Flint, although there are some data that shows Obama made $80 million available to help the situation – but not before he makes fun of Obama not drinking the water that he asked for when he was speaking.

The movie takes time to show dramatically the students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Those of us who lament the trouble (including the lack of voting) caused by the Millennial generation have real hope the new Generation Z will work to change the world.

The weapon was an AR-15. As I have said before, if I were queen I would outlaw guns, football, and soccer. People ask me, “Why soccer?” and I reply that the ball is often hit by people’s heads.

“Fahrenheit 11/9” does talk about how these students became activists. Wikipedia gives a summary of the march that took place in the United States in March of 2018. It says: “March for Our Lives (sometimes MFOL) was a student-led demonstration in support of tighter gun control that took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., with over 800 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world. Student organizers from Never Again MSD planned the march in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. The event followed the February 14, 2018, Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, which was described by many media outlets as a possible tipping point for gun control legislation.”

It has been said the turnout was between one million people, making it one of the largest – if not the largest – protests in the history of the United States.

President Trump is now in office and getting support from the NRA (National Rifle Association). Because of that, we have not seen any major change in the gun laws. The movie does make a real attempt to encourage the changes, but because it is so long and has so many different themes, it is impossible to zero in on the kind of changes that need to happen.

Moore does not let Democrats off the hook, nor should he. He shows footage from the Democratic Convention and how some of the states voted for Bernie Sanders; but because of the super-delegates that until recently were the mainstay of the Democratic conventions, Sanders did not get the nomination. Since he threw his support to Clinton, there was no floor flight.

It really would have been better to make two documentaries: one on the presidential race of 2016 and the subsequent election of Trump; and another on the racism and lying that took place in Flint, Michigan.

The Flint water situation was declared a national emergency in January 2016. Moore explains that the drinking water source was moved from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which was loaded with lead and was unclean, in addition to using lead pipes. People were told to drink bottled water, and the movie shows the water from the Flint River was anything but clean. Although Moore tries a citizen’s arrest of the governor, it depicts an amusing segment of Moore spraying the lawn of the governor’s mansion with water from Flint. By itself, this would have been a very interesting story.

However, Trump’s election gets lost in the movie. Moore attempts to do too many things and he can’t stay away from what Trump does in Michigan with the water crisis.

Moore is a talented film producer, but if his goal was to show how Trump is making our country go in one direction, he could have done that. The movie is too long and has too many themes to accomplish what he wanted to.

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