A critical review of this film is here.
This video from the USA says about itself:
9 August 2018
SEPTEMBER 21 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE: Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 11/9” is a provocative and comedic look at the times in which we live. It will explore the two most important questions of the Trump Era: How the f**k did we get here, and how the f**k do we get out? It’s the film to see before it’s too late.
By David Walsh in the USA:
Fahrenheit 11/9—Filmmaker Michael Moore clings to the Democratic Party
21 September 2018
His new film Fahrenheit 11/9 is an attempt to explain how the election of Donald Trump—a reactionary, know-nothing billionaire—as president of the United States was possible and how the American population might extricate itself from the crisis produced by his coming to power.
If Moore could provide serious and convincing answers to these vexing and pressing problems, and perhaps indicate a way out of the present situation, he would be rendering an enormous political and moral service.
Many of the issues he touches upon—the fascistic character of the Trump White House, the sharp turn to the right by the Democratic Party leadership, the Flint, Michigan water disaster, the depths of poverty in America, the epidemic of school shootings, the cruelty of the government’s treatment of immigrants, the opioid crisis, vast social inequality—are strong arguments for workers to reject the existing economic and political system and adopt a socialist program and outlook.
However, despite various criticisms of prominent Democrats—among them Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—and the American liberal establishment, including the New York Times, Moore urges his viewers to retain—or perhaps regain—confidence in the Democratic Party and “to save”, as he admits, “the America [i.e., the benevolent American capitalism] we’ve never had.”
In interviews, Moore stresses that Fahrenheit 11/9 (a play on the title of his 2004 film, Fahrenheit 9/11, and the date—November 9, 2016—on which Trump was declared the winner of the presidential election) is designed to help obtain votes for the Democrats in the midterm elections in November. He has told audiences at premieres of the new film that the upcoming vote may be the “last chance” to oppose Trump. Moore warns of the direst consequences, “If he isn’t stopped, now, in the mid-terms, with impeachment, whatever it takes …” (Deadline Hollywood). He commented on Real Time with Bill Maher: “I’m finishing my movie and getting it out before the midterms because I want millions of people to get to the polls. We’re going to bring Trump down.”
Fahrenheit 11/9 proceeds in Moore’s customary impressionistic and intellectually careless manner, often praised as non-elitist and “populist”.
The film takes note of the smugness of the Clinton camp on election eve in November 2016 and the certainty of the American media punditry in general that Trump did not stand a chance of victory. Once the unthinkable happens and the Republican candidate is declared the winner at 2:29 a.m. on “11/9”, Moore asks, “How the f— did this happen?”
With legitimate sarcasm, Moore first suggests it must have been the work of “the Russians” and the FBI’s James Comey (whose October 28 letter announced that the law enforcement agency was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as Secretary of State). By way of a side note: the little time Fahrenheit 11/9 devotes to the anti-Russian … campaign … indicates that Moore is well aware of how little interest the broader public has in these upper middle class obsessions.
After a brief excursion into Trump’s quasi-criminal history, his psychological perversity and the demagogic character of his election campaign, Moore turns abruptly to the Flint water crisis. He charges Republican governor Rick Snyder with poisoning the city’s citizens through the decision to draw water in April 2014 from the horribly polluted Flint River. A native of the area, Moore speaks forcefully about the tragic situation and interviews Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician and public health advocate, in regard to the dire effect of lead on children.
Moore sharply condemns Snyder and stages various stunts to embarrass the governor, for example, hosing the grounds of the latter’s mansion with “Flint water” and briefly attempting to carry out a citizen’s arrest of Snyder at the Michigan state capitol. But the filmmaker omits entirely the critical role of Democratic Party officials, including State Treasurer Andy Dillon, the mayor of Flint and members of its City Council, as well as Obama appointees in the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Later, Moore takes Obama to task for his widely unpopular May 2016 appearance in Flint, where the president sipped from a glass of water and arrogantly dismissed residents’ concern with the comment, “The kids will be just fine.” However, Moore seems primarily concerned with the harmful impact Obama’s performance had on voter turnout in Flint—and thus Democratic Party prospects—in November of that year.
The filmmaker has his ear close enough to the ground to know that a mass radicalization is under way in America. He comments that the US, in fact, is a “leftist country”, offering a series of poll figures on various issues to back up his contention. Fahrenheit 11/9 also takes note of the increased popularity of socialism. “Why is this not reflected” in the political process, he asks?
Moore’s response is superficial and sidesteps the central questions. He takes note of the obvious shift to the right by the Democratic Party hierarchy. Proceeding farther along this “left” path, he suggests that the Trump presidency has been “decades in the making” and points to the right-wing records of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He argues that Trump “outflanked” Hillary Clinton to the left on various social issues and war during the 2016 presidential campaign, but observes that, in any event, nonvoters, 100 million of them, were the single biggest bloc on Election Day.
Moore’s voiceover continues: “As the Democrats became more like the Republicans, so did the entire liberal establishment, led by the paper of record [the New York Times]: catering to Big Business, minimizing social movements like Occupy Wall Street and cheerleading every war we got into, while also trying to dictate elections.”
Fahrenheit 11/9 gives far too much credit to the individual figures of Bill Clinton and Obama, whose administrations not only pushed the Democratic Party to the right but reflected the shift of the entire political establishment. The source of the reactionary turn by both big-business parties lies in the objective crisis of American and global capitalism. The Republicans and Democrats have tactical differences and divergent political styles, but the American ruling class is united in its determination to impose the consequences of the intractable crisis on both its economic rivals and “allies” abroad and the working population at home.
The implication of Moore’s viewpoint is that the Democratic Party’s decades-long repudiation of its reformist–New Deal past is a mere policy choice carried out by misguided individuals that can be corrected by pressure exerted from below. …
In his voiceover, Moore argues that Obama “paved the way” for Trump and offers a partial list of the Obama Administration’s “accomplishments”: the locking up of whistle-blowers, the murderous drone program, the deportation of a record number of immigrants, enhanced surveillance, endless wars, etc. Why doesn’t the filmmaker call a halt right there? …
Like the man he supported in early 2016, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the filmmaker denounced Hillary Clinton as a warmonger in the pocket of Wall Street during the Democratic primaries, then turned around and endorsed her—helping, in fact, to channel popular anger and frustration behind Trump! …
Fahrenheit 11/9 wanders on. It contains images of the important West Virginia teachers’ strike and the March For Our Lives against gun violence organized by high school students. The scenes of social devastation in West Virginia are telling and Moore comments, “There are multiple Americas.” However, his interview with Richard Ojeda, Democratic Party politician, West Virginia State Senator and candidate for Congress, is another sham. Ojeda is a capitalist politician
and Trump voter in the 2016 elections
and former Army officer, who boasts on his website about the years he spent “fighting the war on terror” and serving “alongside the bravest men and women I have ever met.” … Moore doesn’t question Ojeda about the bloody US-led wars the filmmaker claims to oppose.
In a move that has aroused controversy, Moore, toward the end of Fahrenheit 11/9, compares Trump to German fascist dictator Adolf Hitler and implies that the former may be preparing some fake terrorist incident, along the lines of the February 1933 Reichstag Fire, that will enable him to proclaim himself “president for life”.
There are great risks in the present situation and Trump’s various references to staying in the White House after his term of office has expired are not to be taken lightly. American “democracy” is largely in ruins and the ruling class is moving inexorably in the direction of authoritarian rule. But this is not Trump’s innovation. The malignant levels of social inequality are incompatible with anything resembling democratic norms and the ruling elite as a whole is preparing to fight it out physically with the working class. …
The “hope” now Moore expresses near the conclusion of the work that we might “get rid of the whole rotten system that gave us Donald Trump” is empty and meaningless, in so far as he continues to support one of the principal props of that “rotten system,” the Democratic Party.
Another review is here.
By Joe Concha in the USA – 03/20/18 10:18 AM EDT:
Liberal documentarian Michael Moore slammed heavy “corporate media” coverage devoted to “Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia” and adult-film actress Stormy Daniels on Monday, calling the stories “shiny keys to distract us.”
The commentary from the “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” director came during a livestreamed town hall event featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Democratic-Massachusetts) in Washington on Monday night.
The three prominent progressives lamented the lack of national media coverage around a recent teachers strike in West Virginia that resulted in a 5 percent pay increase …
“Bernie, I didn’t see hardly anything in the corporate media about this, on any of the networks, even some of the networks that we watch were you know — Russia, turn the channel, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia”, the Oscar-winning director said. …
“These are all shiny keys to distract us. … We should know about the West Virginia strike. What an inspiration that would be around the country“, added Moore.
“But they don’t show this, Bernie, because, what would happen if they did?”
So, now Michael Moore should prepare for being smeared by the establishment as a ‘tool of Putin’. Whether one is Labour party Leader Corbyn in Britain, whether one is Green party leader Jill Stein in the USA; former United States Democratic party chair Donna Brazile; a Black Lives Matter protester against a police killing in Wisconsin, USA; or a Canadian First Nations person and/or Canadian environmentalist; the political establishment claims they don’t have actions and ideas of their own, but only move if Putin in the Kremlin pushes buttons to make them move.
What did I say? Michael Moore should ‘prepare’? No, that smearing had already started before Michael Moore spoke on 20 March. On 19 February 2018, extreme right nut job Michelle Malkin had already accused Moore of being a Russian spy; because he had participated in what Malkin’s Fox News bosses called a ‘Russia sponsored anti-Trump rally‘. Trump-loving Fox News is owned by warmonger-in-chief, burglar-in-chief and phonehacker-in-chief Rupert Murdoch.
If you are Donald Trump, then corporate Democrats and Republican warmongers like John McCain will attack you, not for your warmongering, not for your racism and xenophobia, not for your anti-poor and anti-middle class policies, not for your homophobia and transphobia; but for supposedly being a Russian agent; instead of the reality of being an agent for the billions of dollars owned by yourself and for roughly half of United States Big Money oligarchs.
This craziness is so reminiscent of the Cold War 1950s, when Republican far-right Senator Joe McCarthy claimed the United States State Department and Pentagon were Russian spies. And when the extreme right John Birch Society claimed that Republican President Eisenhower was a Russian spy.
Democrats escalate anti-Russia witch hunt with lawsuit linking Trump and Assange as Russian agents: here.
Jared Kushner became “agitated” and “infuriate[d]” when a meeting arranged with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in 2016 ended up focusing on U.S. sanctions rather than promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, a friend of the Trumps who helped set up the meeting testified to Congress: here.
US sells Poland Patriot anti-missile system amid continued campaign against Russia: here.
Both sections of the US ruling class—gripped by an increasingly violent factional frenzy—are deeply reactionary. The Republican Party upholds the authoritarian and anti-democratic drive of the Trump White House. The Democratic Party opposes Trump by aligning itself with sections of the military-intelligence apparatus that reject his foreign policy as erratic and insufficiently confrontational towards Russia: here.
This video from the USA says about itself:
18 October 2016
Read more here.
‘A PLEA TO THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: TAKE BACK YOUR TRUMP ENDORSEMENT’ “With the GOP nominee for president having boasted about his ability to sexually assault women with impunity, a leading women’s group is asking the Fraternal Order of Police to back off of its endorsement of Donald J. Trump.” [Ryan Grim, HuffPost]
A critical review is here.
From filmmaker Robert Greenwald in the USA:
No one can make a documentary with as much political savvy, humor, and creativity as Michael Moore. And no one is as willing to tackle our elected officials with the same tenacity. After unleashing Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and SiCKO in recent years, Moore has set his sights on the Bush administration and our nation’s voter turnout in his latest film, Slacker Uprising, which chronicles his 62-city swing state tour of college campuses just prior to the 2004 election.
Here’s the best part. To maximize the reach of his message and as a thank you gift to his fans, Moore is adopting a novel approach to distributing this film. He’s teaming up with Brave New Films to distribute the movie online, completely free of charge. Sign up now on http://slackeruprising.com and you will be notified when the film is available for free download on September 23.
You can also buy the DVD for $9.95, which will start shipping on September 23 and features extras like: Special Guest Joan Baez – America the Beautiful, Why People Like George Bush?, My Pet Goat, The O’Reilly Factor for Kids, Just Add Water and Heat – More Ramen and Clean Underwear, and more. Or should I say, Moore!
We share Moore’s hope that this film will get people to vote in this election, just as Moore’s 2004 tour sparked greater turnout. So go to http://slackeruprising.com now, spread the trailer around to your friends, and get inspired.
and the Brave New team
P.S. And for even more Moore, check out his recent back-to-back appearances on Meet the Bloggers. Then, tune into the show tomorrow at 1pm ET/10am PT. Our guest host, punk rock icon Henry Rollins, will be joined by bloggers Jonathan Kim (FOX Attacks!), Liliana Segura (AlterNet.org) and Paul Waldman (Media Matters). They’ll discuss how the corporate media has favored the McCain campaign throughout this election, a bias that has only become more pronounced during the Republican National Convention.
Check out some of the material below and learn about the extent of the media’s bias. Then, go to Meet the Bloggers at 1pm ET/10am PT to join the conversation.
* Free Ride: John McCain and the Media – David Brock and Paul Waldman
* Is the McCain-Media Love Affair Souring? – Paul Waldman
* McCain’s New Media Strategy: Blame the Media – Huffington Post
* In Study, Evidence of Liberal-Bias Bias – LA Times
* Infuriated About Tough CNN Interview, McCain Cancels Larry King Appearance – Think Progress
* Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy’s Off-Air Attack of Palin for VP Pick. Who’s Telling the Truth? – Crooks and Liars
* Digital Media: A Giveaway to Corporate Media – Black Agenda Report
* Scarborough, Buchanan Completely Reverse Positions on Palin in Just Five Days – Think Progress
See also here.
The film industry in Australia: here.
This 2007 video from the USA is Michael Moore’s new movie Sicko
By Alice Carver in the USA:
One Third of Uninsured Americans Suffers from a Chronic Illness
August 5th 2008
According to a recent study conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston and the Cambridge Health Alliance, an estimated 11.4 Americans without health insurance suffer from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown that uninsured Americans are more likely to suffer from advanced forms of cancer compared to people covered by private health insurance.
The uninsured are more likely to suffer from chronic disease and other severe illnesses because most of them are not getting routine screenings for different types of diseases in time.
See also here.
This video is Michael Moore’s film Sicko; with Dutch subtitles.
The “should be living at this hour” line is borrowed from this poem by William Wordsworth:
Milton! thou should’st be living at this hour:
Milton! thou should’st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters
This line has become standard in deploring the decline of British poetry; or, in this case, of British Labour ministers.
From London daily The Morning Star:
POETRY: Poem of the week
edited by John Rety
Poem of the week: For Aneurin Bevan by Danielle Hope.
Bevan! You should be living at this hour
the NHS has need of you. She is a shell
sapped of spirit, a disoriented hull
a revengeful return of the Mayflower.
Her decks brim with pristine shops and babble,
burble like a jaunty airport mall.
Her cargo strains with episodes, manpower
and medicines, each counted to cut costs.
Below she battles ageing, accidents and old super-bugs
that breed below adverts for tomorrow’s drugs.
Passengers please travel on for health care
you’ll find private dentists, stocks, shares
and lawyers on each turning of the stair.
About the poet
Danielle Hope was born in Lancashire but now lives in London. She has had three collections of poetry, Fairground of Madness, City Fox and The Stone Ship, published by Rockingham Press.
John Rety of Hearing Eye Press and Torriano Meeting House is a former editor of anarchist paper Freedom.
VIRGIN Care has been awarded over £2bn of NHS contracts in the last five years alone, ringing alarm bells over the further privatisation of the NHS. In a single year, Virgin Care won deals worth £1bn to provide services to the NHS: here.
In this video from the USA, Ms
Reggie Cervantes, 9/11 responder in movie “Sicko”, talks about U.S. Treasury investigation of their trip to Cuba.
Another video about this film is here.
This film, as usually with Michael Moore, is a documentary about a serious subject, treated humouristically. The subject of this film is health care in the USA, compared to elsewhere.
50 million people in the USA do not have health insurance. Leading to poignant opening scenes in the film. First, a man with a bad leg wound, which he amateuristically tries to cure himself, being unable to afford a doctor. Then, shots of a man of whom two fingers were sawed off. He cannot afford financially to have both fingers restored, so he chooses just his ring finger. If he would have had fifty thousand dollars more, his middle finger would have been restored as well. However, he did not have those dollars, so his middle finger went to a landfill. At least, this man is still alive. An estimated 18,000 people a year die in the USA, the richest country in the world, from not being medically insured.
The film, Michael Moore says, is not about those 50 million uninsured US Americans. He then continues with the 250 million Americans who do have health insurance. Are they safe from the nightmares which uninsured Americans get in case of illness? Often not, in turns out. Health insurance in the USA is through so-called HMO’s, health maintenance organizations. These are private for profit corporations. The neutrality of the Wikipedia article about HMO’s is disputed. Doctors working for HMO’s get more money the more they exclude patients from medical treatment. While one might expect from a naïve, non-HMO fat cat, point of view, that a doctor’s income would rise the more persons’ health he or she would improve.
This pro profit, anti patient, health care system in the USA could be established, the film says, because lobbyists for it shout Socialism! as a scare word to discredit possible alternatives. However, in fact, the film continues, universal health care is the rule in Western capitalist countries apart from the USA. The film interviews a Canadian amateur golf player, who is also a member of that country’s conservative party. He got muscle problems while playing in Florida, USA. He was very happy that he could return to Canada and be cured there for free under the Canadian health care system. If he would have stayed in the USA, it would have cost him ten thousands of dollars. All political parties, including conservatives, in Canada, the interviewee says, support free health care.
Another interviewee, British ex MP Tony Benn, of the left wing of the Labour Party, says that even hardline Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did not privatize the British National Health Service (though she, and her successor Blair, privatized many other things like railways and water, often with disastrous consequences). According to Benn, there came free and universal health care to Britain in 1948, when it was very poor just after the second world war. It was based on the idea that, if society can be mobilized for killing people in wars, then it can also be mobilized for better collective goals like improving health care. The idea of solidarity was important. Benn explained the introduction of free health care from democracy. In the USA, the poorest half of the people are discouraged from voting and in fact often do not vote. So, health care policy there is lopsided in favour of the super rich minority.
When the scene of the film moves to France, the idea of democracy and health care is further elaborated upon. In France, an interviewee says, the government is afraid of the people. If the people don’t like policies which hurt them, there will be massive anti government demonstrations; some footage of which is in the film. While, on the other hand, in the USA, the people are afraid of the government. If they are dependent on jobs which have at least some limited health care insurance, as a favour, not as a real right, then, even if they do not like those jobs, they will feel less free to rebel.
The movie points out that child mortality is higher in the USA than in many other countries. Average life expectancy in the USA is lower than Canada, Britain, France. Even lower than the small country of Cuba, since 1960 suffering from an economic boycott by the USA, traditionally its main trading partner (in an unequal way). In the 1990s, Cuba suffered again as its next main trading partner, the Soviet Union, collapsed.
Even so, the last part of the film was shot in Cuba. Director Moore goes there on small ships, with people who became ill as they helped victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Many of them became ill; and in many cases, they could not get health care under United States rules. First, Moore and the patients try to go to Guantanamo Bay. That United States base, according to an early twentieth century Cuban-US agreement, can only be used by US armed forces for supplying their Navy steamships with coal. So, establishing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, infamous for torture, there, is against that agreement. Supporters in the USA of Guantanamo Bay camp point out that supposedly all detainees are Al Qaeda members (though no one has been convicted for that supposed membership). They also point out in defense of that camp that camp inmates, contrary to most US citizens, do get universal health care. So, Michael Moore said, let us go to Guantanamo Bay, to see whether 9/11 rescue workers can get the same quality health care there as supposed terrorists; which they are not getting right now in and around New York.
They cannot; Michael Moore’s fleet of boats is not admitted to Guantanamo Bay. They then go to the parts of Cuba not occupied by US armed forces. There, Ms Reggie Cervantes, whose health was ruined by her helping 9/11 victims in New York City, enters a Cuban pharmacy. Being a Latina US citizen, she can talk with the pharmacy people in Spanish. Here, she can buy medicines which she needs for the equivalent of just five US dollar cents; while in her own USA they cost an unaffordable 120 dollars. Ms Cervantes starts to cry as she finds this out.
While this, on the whole, excellent film, may be an eye opener to chauvinistic US Americans who may think nothing can be learned from other countries, I should add a note of criticism here. The ideas of privatization, including in health care, did not only have influence in the USA of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. They also, though less drastically, so far and to be hoped forever, did have influence, more than the film Sicko suggests, in, eg, West European countries. Let them learn from this film that they should stop immediately with this road to the disasters of privatization.
Classic Cuban films on DVD: here.
From British daily The Morning Star:
Depravity of neocons
(Friday 11 May 2007)
THE US Treasury Department’s legal pursuit of world-renowned film-maker Michael Moore for taking sick September 11 emergency workers to Cuba for hospital treatment illustrates the Bush administration’s depravity.
It shows clearly that the US blockade of Cuba amounts as much to a denial of US citizens’ human rights as it does for the people of Cuba.
The film-maker has been a constant thorn in the side of Mr Bush’s neoconservative regime, especially over his Fahrenheit 9/11 film, which exposed the president’s duplicity over the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks.
The chickenhawk president will also still remember Mr Moore’s denunciation of the Iraq invasion at the 2003 Oscars ceremony, which brought worldwide attention to the reality of widespread opposition within the US to the war, notwithstanding the best efforts of sycophantic US TV “news” stations Fox and CNN.
The film will document the horror that is the health-care system in the richest country in the world.
And, worse still for the warmongering neocons in Washington, SiCKO will contrast the situation in the US with that prevailing in Cuba, a Third World country that has suffered a concentrated US blockade for nearly half a century.