It’s either debilitating demagoguery, a dismaying debacle, a damned disaster, or a delight, depending on your opinion of the demonstrably dysfunctional Donald.
It’s very clear what filmmaker Michael Moore thinks. And even if you agree with him, his latest documentary, “Fahrenheit 11/9”, which he wrote, produced, directed, appears in, and narrates,
will leave you numb.
The film, more than two hours long, shows you How It All Began, How It All Progressed, and How It’s Likely To End Up, in chilling episodes that demonstrate how America has abandoned democracy and compares our current position with that of other countries that have chosen to be led by ruthless oligarchs and dictators.
It begins with the all-too-familiar crowds that rallied to support Donald Trump, often receiving, as Moore reports, some $50 each for their efforts. And it shows Trump demolishing 15 other Republican candidates and intimidating his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, as he aims for the presidency.
Moore also indicates the deterioration of morality in this country as he documents the sexual assaults committed by so many prominent men.
And, in a very long sequence, he tells of the deadly crimes committed by Rick Snyder, the corrupt Governor of Michigan, against the people of Flint, Moore’s own hometown. As it happened, the people of Flint had been supplied traditionally by the fresh water of nearby Lake Huron when Snyder decided to build a new pipeline that would supply a mostly African-American community with the filthy, contaminated water of the Flint River. He then faked the measurement figures of the level of contamination while the local citizens (especially children) were dying of lead poisoning and Legionnaire’s Disease. The water supply was later reassigned to Lake Huron when it was discovered that the Flint River water was corroding auto parts at the local General Motors plant. But that fresh water was not returned to the people of the Flint community.
Another major portion of the film deals with unions, workers, and teachers striking for higher wages in huge marches in Flint and around the country. A moving sequence depicts men carrying “baby coffins” filled with signed petitions of protest to the indifferent officers of the state government.
There is also a long sequence using newsreel footage that documents the rise of the Nazis under the leadership of Hitler. And it shows the fearful nighttime burning of the Reichstag building, where the Parliament met. (Hitler blamed the Communists for the fire, even though it was widely understood to be a Nazi ploy to instill fear in the German populace.) And Moore makes a terrifying comparison between that occurrence and the later attack and destruction of New York’s Twin Towers.
These episodes are only a few of the historical points that Moore makes in this emotionally devastating film. It is almost too heavy to bear, but it is extraordinarily well put together as it follows the path that Moore presents as a cautionary warning to America. He sees us sliding down that path without a word or a whimper — willing to forfeit democracy rather than fight or vote for it.
“Fahrenheit 11/9”, which signifies the date on which Donald Trump was declared “the winner” of the 2016 presidential race, is a Must See film. Even if it makes you sick at heart. It opened last Friday, September 14th, and is currently playing in theaters all over town.