Talk about leaving the theater with a sense of dejection. I’m sure that isn’t what controversial filmmaker Michael Moore intended with his new documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a left-leaning film about America’s current ‘hell in a handbasket’ state of affairs.
This isn’t really Moore’s typical rip-roaring anti-Trump tirade, which is unexpected. It’s more of an anti-politician, anti-political party call to action that is, by design, made to rally the country’s remaining liberal population. Nobody is coming to help us, he crows, so we need to help ourselves before it’s too late.
Moore covers everything from the tear-filled election night of 11/9/16 to the teacher strikes in West Virginia to the Parkland school shooting to the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan while openly and harshly criticizing everyone from Trump, Pence, and Bill O’Reilly to, yes, even Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. His points are more than valid, especially when he sheds light on his theory as to why people in certain parts of the country didn’t show up to vote because they felt their voices didn’t matter.
But that’s the problem with this film. As Moore blasts the Republicans, the Democrats, and America’s political system in general, he creates a sense of overwhelming hopelessness.
Encouraging citizens to speak up and demand action through protest and voting is all well and good, but a film that does so needs to end on a high note that will inspire people to get up and out into the streets. This one made me want to sit at home and do nothing.
The bits that don’t work include a little too over-the-top and long drawn out piece that compares Trump to Hilter (although the undeniable similarities are chilling) and another rambling section about school shooting victims that feels out of place. Moore is still a talented political filmmaker and regardless of your personal politics, everyone should watch this film (if only for the eye-opening and truly tragic bits about poor black children who are suffering from lead poising due to a corrupt system). That story alone made me want to “get loud” from my internal anger.