REVIEW: Fahrenheit 11/9

Documentarian Michael Moore’s newest film sets its sights on Donald Trump.


Photo by Matt McCabe

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The world today is stressful. There seems to be some global catastrophe or some political grossness going on at all places and times. So it’s nice to have places, like the movies, where you can escape, and live in someone else’s reality for a while. Unless, of course, the movie you choose to escape to is a documentary directly that examines this stressful reality we all share. Then you’re just stuck with some strange combination feeling of despair and extreme motivation.

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Michael Moore is that documentary. The subject matter of this movie is very wide-spanning, complex and possibly controversial, so to summarize concisely is pretty difficult.

The basic idea of the movie is examining the events that led to, and repercussions of, the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of The United States. Starting with his campaign, and going over how corruption and short-sightedness in both major political parties led to the massive upset of his win and how it might mark the beginning of something much darker.

A sizeable portion of the movie is spent talking about Michael Moore’s hometown, Flint Michigan and its water crisis. How political scheming by the governor of Michigan led to the mass poisoning of an entire city, and the nations lackluster response to this situation. He also makes a really good point on how the greed and malpractice that caused the dumpster fire over there (one that is still burning, by the way) works as an allegory for the national dumpster fire burning now.

Despite how it sounds, the movie isn’t all doom and gloom. It goes into detail of many examples of people using their political voice for good. Like the teachers-strike in West Virginia, or, what might be most impactful for high-school students like ourselves, the March for Our Lives movement led by students from Stoneman-Douglas high school in Florida.

Also, the movie is pretty funny. Maybe not funny “ha-ha”, but some sections are definitely very entertaining, despite its serious subject matter.Like Michael Moore spraying a truck’s worth of Flint’s contaminated water onto the Governor of Michigan’s lawn, for example.

Despite movie’s super interesting subject matter, the movie itself did feel off at times. The editing, in particular, felt a little jagged. It switched between topics rapidly with seemingly no rhyme or reason. This could be seen as a valiant attempt to fit as much stuff in a reasonable timeframe as possible but if you aren’t paying 100% attention, it could get a bit confusing. Also, the end of the movie dragged on a bit.

There were a lot of places that you were sure it was about to end, but it just kept going. Additionally, the actual end of the movie was a bit of a downer. This could be seen as commentary on the downer time we live in, but it might have been better for the movie to go out on a higher note. That could just be personal preference, however.

Also, if you’re wondering about the title of the movie, which makes sense, considering it’s a pretty weird. It’s a parody of one of Michael Moore’s other films, Fahrenheit 9/11. Which was about the Bush Whitehouse’s dubious response to the events of 9/11. And, Since Trump was elected on November 9th, or 11/9, it kind of worked out pretty nicely (Or ominously, take your pick).

Even if you might not agree with all the points brought up, if you have the opportunity, you owe it to yourself to go see this movie. It takes a lot of heavy subject matter and puts it into the palatable form of an entertaining documentary. It’s an easy and fun way to contribute to your civic duty of staying informed on the events in our country.