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Monday, May 17, 2004

Much More Moore

The New York Times
A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines
"The Michael Moore documentary the Walt Disney Company deemed too partisan to distribute offers few new revelations about the connections between President Bush and prominent Saudi Arabian families, including that of Osama bin Laden.

But this film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," which is scheduled to make its debut today at the Cannes International Film Festival, contains stark images of civilian casualties and disillusioned soldiers from the Iraq war zone that have rarely, if ever, been shown on American television. And the muckracking craft evident in this nearly two-hour attack on President Bush's tenure in the White House is likely to have a galvanizing effect among both conservatives and liberals should the film be widely distributed this summer.

A reporter for The New York Times was invited to a screening of the film last week. "Fahrenheit 9/11" focuses on longstanding ties between the Bush family, its associates and prominent Saudis and on whether those ties clouded the president's judgment in recognizing warning signs before the Sept. 11 attacks and hampered his response afterward.

Mr. Moore extends his critique of the president to his conduct of the war in Iraq, arguing that the war is victimizing not only Iraqis but also the lower-income enlisted Americans who are fighting in it. In addition he attempts to make a case that the government's terrorism alerts at home are being used to repeal some civil liberties.

These are the subjects that have made "Fahrenheit 9/11" such a political hot potato. Icon Productions, Mel Gibson's company and the original primary investor in the film, backed out last spring, and Miramax Films, a Disney division run by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, stepped in."


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