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Lessons from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9: Establishment Democrats Sold Out the Voters

September 22, 2018 in Blogs

By Sophia A. McClennen, Salon

Moore’s film is as much about how the left and the media have failed us as it is about the dangers of Trump

Michael Moore’s new film “Fahrenheit 11/9” opened nationwide this week in 1,719 theaters —  a record for a non-fiction film that isn’t about a pop icon or wild animals.  Billed as the film that would tell us how the f*&k we got here and how the f*&k we can get out, “Fahrenheit 11/9” debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6 to wide acclaim.

As with all Moore films, “Fahrenheit 11/9” goes well beyond a moving, aesthetic experience. In my Salon review of the film I called it a call to action, one that asks viewers to be the ones to make history rather than complain about it.  This call to action, though, comes wrapped in a hard-hitting exposé of the flaws in our democracy. Refusing to simplify a complex crisis, Moore’s new film is filled with surprises.  Here are the top six:

1. Trump is just the tip of the iceberg; but it’s a tip that can sink us. 

Well before the premiere of “Fahrenheit 11/9” Moore was making it clear that viewers hoping to see the release of the “pee tape” would be disappointed. Moore convincingly argues that it was our own broken system that allowed for the election of Trump, which means that getting rid of him simply won’t be good enough. At the same time, though, “Fahrenheit 11/9” emphasizes the real dangers Trump poses to our nation, offering elaborate links between the Trump administration and that of the Nazis.

The film offers a delicate and artful balance: It calls on us to stop fantasizing that all of our problems will be solved with impeachment; and it demands that we take Trump’s authoritarian impulses seriously. In a media landscape that either obsesses over Trump or underestimates him, this film offers necessary nuance. It shows how dangerous Trump is to our democracy without allowing him to be the whole story.

2. The mainstream media is a misogynistic, corporatist oligarchy that Trump played to his benefit.

The film looks back on a series …read more


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