Fahrenheit 11/9: Film Review

Michael Moore is well-known for making documentaries about the state of America, like Bowling for Columbine, Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11. He is doing it all over again, but this time with a focus on President Trump and how he won the election on 9th November 2016 (hence the title). 

The documentary goes into detail about the campaign and the election, explaining how Trump never wanted to run for office, why there was such a low voting turn out etc. This is all interesting and enlightening stuff, but the most captivating segments for me were when it took little tangents to address the Flint water crisis, the teachers’ strike in West Virginia, and the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year. I followed the election pretty well and knew a lot of stuff about it, so these pieces were most informative, as I didn’t know about them in any depth.

The documentary is incredibly biased. It isn’t going for balance – it doesn’t want to hear what a Trump supporter has to say, it chooses interview subjects that reinforce its own ideas so I can’t see any Republican giving it a go. I’m on it’s side, so that’s fine, but I don’t think it will convince anybody on the right.

Even still, it sometimes goes a bit overboard and too dramatic. Yes, Trump is racist and misogynistic, etc etc, but no need to bum us out. I left feeling a bit deflated and crap, feeling like the world is unfair, the system is unfair and we’re all doomed. I get that Moore is trying to create a call to action but jeeez, heavy-handed much? It started off in pretty good humour – in a “what the f**k happened?!’ kind of way – and there was a sprinkling of laughs throughout, mainly thanks to Moore’s witty narration, but it got incredibly bleak and alarmist. It was too much by the end, particularly when the Hitler comparisons come in.

Despite this, it is filled with seriously powerful and moving content. I had tears in my eyes on a few occasions because I was so frustrated by the injustice of it all and the greed winning out over the needs of the people, and because I was in awe of the strength of the Parkland survivors and all they have achieved since the tragedy.

Fahrenheit 11/9 is eye-opening and enlightening and informative – but be warned that you might end up feeling like crap after.

Screening as part of the 2018 BFI London Film Festival. In selected cinemas from Friday 19th October 

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