“Fahrenheit 9/11″ highlights the strong family ties and business associations between the Bush family and Saudi-Arabia, specifically their ties to the Bin Laden family. Since the Saudi’s have invested so much money in the Bush family oil business, Moore speculates that the Bush family puts Saudi-Arabian interests before the interests of the American people. Moore also points out that records show many members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of Saudi-Arabia regardless that all flights were grounded.
Moore opens Fahrenheit 9/11 by talking about the controversial election that took place in 2000 that eventually resulted in President George W. Bush taking office. He illustrates how Bush’s presidency was a failure up until the summer of 2001 and it wasn’t until after the attacks on 9/11 that his presidency seemed to turn around. Through this he implies that Bush used the attacks on America and the War On Terror to his own political advantage.
Instead of directly showing the iconic videos and pictures of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Moore first plays just the sounds over a black screen. He then cuts to reactions of people on the street, focusing on the alarm and confusion of all those New Yorkers who had to watch in horror. He then shows President Bush reading a children’s book to an elementary school classroom when Bush first gets news of the attack. The president sits in silence for several moments. Although he is supposed to be the most powerful man in the world, he hesitates at first to take any action at all.
Fahrenheit 9/11 makes sure to ask many tough questions about our post 9/11 society. The film covers the search for Bin Laden, the war in Afghanistan, violations of civil rights, and the extremely controversial Patriot Act. This documentary follows the complete epidemic of fear that spreads throughout the country, and eventually tackles the hard truths about the war in Iraq, including the search for the elusive weapons of mass destruction.
Moore interviews individual soldiers, recruiters, and civilians including those parents who have lost children in the war. He contrasts these interviews with interviews of national defense contractors, who are happy that business has been spiking due to both wars. He interviews congressmen who find the notion of sending their own children to war humorous.
The soundtrack of Fahrenheit 9/11 is selected very carefully, and at many times can be quite clever. The imagery is rather intense, serving it’s own dish of “shock and awe.” Moore’s in-your-face style of film-making, while at times can be a little too blunt, is very effective. His witty commentary is only overshadowed by the cold hard truth about what is going on. At times the film can be staggeringly dismal, which is an obvious purpose of Moore’s enlightening documentary. Regardless of Moore’s personal criticisms, Fahrenheit 9/11 should not be missed.
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