While it may appear as a sole sequel to Michael Moore’s 2004 hit documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, Fahrenheit 11/9 is also a spiritual, updated follow-up to some of Moore’s other movies. Movie goers will notice hints of Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore in TrumpLand, and Sicko as the Oscar-winning documentarian covers gun control, political divides, and the health and safety of Flint, Michigan’s water supply in this provocative presidential exposé.
It’s been interesting watching Moore react to political events over the past two years. He advocated vocally against a Donald Trump presidency and as he grew more weary, he extended an empathetic olive branch to Trump supporters with his film Michael Moore in TrumpLand. But now, as we watch Trump’s presidency continue to ignite controversy and morale discussions, Moore is more angry – and more passionate than ever. This doc will surely please the filmmaker’s loyal followers, but I don’t believe Fahrenheit 11/9 will expand on his fanbase. However, naysayers will at least appreciate how Moore has kept his “shenanigans” at bay this time around.
After the 2016 general election, people were quick to blame others for the results. There’s a bit of that in Fahrenheit 11/9 as Moore humours a popular theory about Gwen Stefani’s wage on NBC’s The Voice inspiring Trump to run for office. However, part of the purpose of Fahrenheit 11/9 is to show us how many moving parts were in motion that led us to where we are now. The film isn’t a blame game per se, but more of a cinematic PSA to raise awareness around how our seemingly innocuous curiosities can be detrimental to our future. With his film, Moore wants us to recognize our failures and push through them – holding our heads high during other dire straits.
The epic range and bulk of Fahrenheit 11/9 will make movie goers nostalgic for the days of when Michael Moore could debate against oppositions and pitch a thesis in tighter timeframes, but that doesn’t make Fahrenheit 11/9 any less effective. This is a movie that could – and hopefully will – inspire change.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie