Michael Moore’s most recent film, Fahrenheit 11/9 refers to the day following the elections of 2016, which he equates with 9/11 as a comparable assault on the U.S. I’ve watched the film twice in less than a week. What stands out earlier, and in the most recent viewing is that the images speak even louder than its words. The first frames show you a rogues gallery of suited male heads, alongside statistics reporting how many times women have accused each of predation. But these words take on an entirely different level of meaning in the heart of the film, when we see the current White House imposter haranguing the Detroit Economic Club where the protocols forbid any questions from the floor. One by one, women protesters in the audience stand up to object to the proceedings only to be manhandled by stone-faced goons who whip them around and force them from the room. Those shots tell you infinitely more about the way women in this society are treated than any statistics can.
Through much of the film we see footage of National Conventions, and political rallies, with their abundance of flags big as aircraft carriers, five-story-high amplified images of political figures, balloons, confetti, strobe lights, cascades of water, etc. which preview the concluding shots of Hitler’s rallies with their display of flags, screaming people, and which document the autocratic body language of the presiding demagogue. We even see the image of his U.S. counterpart projected on the Empire State Building. And by comparison, it dawns on us how subversive rock concerts can be and how they mock all our political posturings, much as the feast of the Saturnalia, with its idiot-king-for-a-day satirized the Roman empire in its day.
Coming to a City Near You
We see the moment when the black children of Flint Michigan are deemed dispensable as a politician presses his finger to the water gage which will shut off the waters of Lake Huron and divert the Flint River and its contamination to fill the taps of Flint, consigning everyone of its children to the lead poisoning which will devastate their bodies and minds, and condemn each one of them to being less than human — the moment when Rick Snyder, the devil’s spawn Governor of Michigan, destroys a whole city more effectively than any so-called terrorist ever could. But Moore doesn’t stop there. He shows a triumphant Air Force One flying Obama to the rescue. And as the people who voted for him with their whole hearts watch, he drinks or pretends to drink the contaminated water of Flint — twice — in a PR stunt Madison Avenue could only dream of. And not satisfied with his twice betrayal, he allows Flint Michigan to be bombed, strafed, and terrorized by the Army which uses the city for target practice without any forewarning to its terrified inhabitants.
At first viewing, the separate strands of Moore’s film seem like something of a hodge podge, the poisoning of Flint, the student anti-gun resistance movement originated by the students of Parkland High School in Florida, but the point Moore is making is that from Clinton on, each American president has paved the way for the Walpurgisnacht of the current Ozministration. Yes, dear children, we are in a fix. The taps of hatred have been turned on, and they can’t be turned off because the pipes are corroded, Flint’s black children’s lives have been forever blunted, and nothing can wash the stain off these lily white hands. We are in a fix, and no ’fix’ can fix it. Not even an electoral upset.
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