I've just come back from watching Michael Moore's new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11". It was the second day the movie had opened in Beirut, and although the local promoting of the movie was very light (an ad in the paper), the publicity and controversy the film has already recieved was more than sufficient to pack the theatre. Walking in, I wondered if half the crowd actually knew the movie was a documentary - some of the audience were barely in their teens. Nonetheless, the comments during and after the movie as well as the heavy applause when the credits were rolling confirmed that the message was recieved.
The movie can best be described as an emotional rollercoaster. You rush through a spectrum of laughter, sadness, disbelief, anger & despair within the brief hour and a half of film. I will not delve into the particulars - you MUST go see it if you have not done so already. But by no means is this movie 'just' a documentary, it's a perspective. A perspective of an American so frustrated by what he sees happening to (and by) his country. Is it fair? Balanced? Maybe not, as many of Michael Moore's critics are quick to point out (shift-click here to read a critique). But the point is... it doesn't have to be. It's subjectivity and it's "Moore"-ness is what makes it special... and so unforgettable.
One drawback of the film in my opinion is that the conclusion is, well, absent. The intention is clear: don't vote for Bush. But the end of the movie seems to come abruptly. It left me hanging in a daze of emotion with no closure. Maybe that is what Moore intended? For me to think of the only possible conclusion and go vote for Kerry? I don't know.
Well the Lebanese audience can't vote for either Kerry or Bush. The Lebanese who dislike Bush will feel vindicated, maybe even relieved that someone in America shares their opinion. But that is where it stops I suppose. All the Lebanese audience can do now is wait till November comes round and see whether the movie they watched a few months before was a force of change, or whether (as it often is the case in their part of the world) just a 'movie'.