Fahrenheit 11/9

fahrenheit_eleven_nine_xlgDirected by Academy Award-winning documentarian Michael Moore who is best known for 2002’s Bowling for Columbine and 2004’s Fahrenheit 9/11, Fahrenheit 11/9 is an entertaining and provocative documentary that is to be expected from Michael Moore who mixes comedic elements and liberal indignation to primarily criticize President Donald Trump. He delves deep into the current highly toxic political environment of the United States and is not afraid to have a no holds barred portrayal of Trump as a largely negative figure in today’s society. However, I was surprised to discover that the film covers a much larger range of topics that do not necessarily connect to President Trump, including the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the media, the Electoral College, and even President Barack Obama. Definitely preaching to the choir, Moore goes through what led up to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and its impact on the nation as a whole by interviewing everyday American citizens who either love or despise the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Also, at several points throughout the movie, Michael Moore visits his impoverished hometown of Flint, Michigan where he discusses the water crisis that started in 2014 and expresses anger at the state government, especially Republican Governor Rick Snyder who he believes is responsible for the negligence and apparent lack of caring that resulted in the toxic water supply that continues to this day. In typical Michael Moore fashion, the film includes a stunt in which Moore sprays Governor Snyder’s gubernatorial mansion with the lead-infused water that has come directly from the Flint water supply. At one point, he unexpectedly criticizes President Obama for his visit to Flint where he pretends to drink the water and does not entirely live up to his promise of finally solving the issue. The documentary then returns to what Moore believes is the extremely dangerous and unprecedented current presidential administration and blames the media and the outdated Electoral College for helping Trump get elected despite losing the popular vote and being counted out by the political establishment as a viable candidate. Despite most of the movie painting a rather dire picture of the current political landscape, Michael Moore tries to encourage Americans to stand up through civil discourse and voting. He discusses how ordinary people and activists are running for office, including an outspoken veteran trying to get elected to Congress as a Democrat from West Virginia. Furthermore, there is a glimmer of hope among activists as Moore describes the teacher strikes in West Virginia and its spread throughout the country demanding that public school teachers receive much-needed pay raises. Overall, although I realize that just the mention of Michael Moore will discourage most conservative audience members, I found it to be a well-meaning film that goes after both sides of the aisle, obviously with a more disdainful approach to President Donald Trump, and uses Moore’s techniques to create an effective and enjoyable documentary about today’s divided political discourse.

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