Michael Moore is a name many people should already know. He’s well-known for his hard-hitting and often controversial documentaries. His most recent film, Fahrenheit 11/9, focuses on the Trump presidency, as well as other modern political issues that currently plague the United States. While Moore’s message is clear, the film feels almost like a propaganda instead of a traditional documentary. Let’s take a closer look in our Fahrenheit 11/9 review.
The documentary starts off with an in-depth look at the Trump presidency. It kicks off with Trumps fake run for office, sparked by a desire to get more money from NBC, then quickly transitions into just how Trump became president, and what kind of impact he’s had on America. As you might expect, Moore focuses on the negative aspect of the Trump presidency. It makes sense given the film would be considerably shorter if it focused on the positive aspects.
While Moore makes a number of comparisons to Hitler’s rise in Germany, denoting the fact that America could have a similar future if Trump gets his way, the presentation is off. While watching Fahrenheit 11/9, it doesn’t feel like you’re watching a documentary you’d find on The History Channel or HBO. There are a lot of facts and truths in Fahrenheit 11/9, but if you sat a White supremacist down to watch the film, it’s unlikely they’d be put off by what they see. Instead, it feels as though the film might even give them ideas and some insight into what Trump’s long-term game is. It’s a frightening prospect, but one that could easily ring true.
After a significant amount of time focusing on Trump, Moore moves on to various other hot topics. From the poisoning of Flint’s water supply and the corruption behind it to the gun crisis currently gripping America, there’s very little left untouched by Fahrenheit 11/9. The documentary moves along smoothly, but at just over two hours in length, it’s a bit of a chore to sit through. By the time the documentary comes to an end, you’re either ready to renew your passport and get out of the country, or you’re a Trump supporter and hopeful that Moore’s proposed Trump future actually becomes reality. Either way, you’ll be ready for the film to be over as it feels considerably longer than two hours.
Moore makes valid claims throughout Fahrenheit 11/9, and while he doesn’t readily present his facts, it’s clear that he’s done his homework. If not for the flamboyant way Moore presents his case, this would be a spot-on documentary. Instead, we’re left with something that could be mistaken for political propaganda, and just as easily dismissed by either party. A more straightforward approach isn’t Moore’s style, but in this case, it almost hurts his presentation instead of giving it the additional flare he’s looking for.
Fahrenheit 11/9 is an interesting display of political corruption in America, but it’s unlikely to have the impact Moore is hoping for. There are moments that make you want to rise up and fight for the little guy, but just as many moments that could potentially motivate the far right, even if that’s not Moore’s intention. No matter where you stand on politics in America, Fahrenheit 11/9 is best digested in small pieces in the comfort of your home.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Michael Moore examines the current state of American politics, particularly the Donald J. Trump presidency and gun violence, while highlighting the power of grassroots democratic movements.
Director: Michael Moore
Writers: Michael Moore
Stars: David Hogg, Michael Moore, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Runtime: 2 Hours, 8 Minutes