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Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018 2 years ago

'Fahrenheit 11/9' explores American democracy's struggle under Trump

Michael Moore's new documentary is a scary look at Trump's America with some hopeful undertones.

In Michael Moore's new documentary, "Fahrenheit 11/9," he presents an avalanche of facts about our country that will leave you terrified. But, primarily, he cites how we cannot have a democracy if we're "sitting on the bench."

The timing of the film's release was carefully calculated. The urgency of his message can't be ignored with the midterms rapidly approaching. Through interviews and film clips, Moore holds everyone's feet to the fire. Crossing party lines, he blames the election of Donald Trump on politicians, the news media, making voting difficult and white men who feel disenfranchised. When he asks Steve Bannon (Trump's former strategist), "How did you pull this off?" Bannon replies, "Our side goes for the head wound, you guys go for a pillow fight."

Moore was one of the few people who warned that Trump could actually win prior to the election. He's adamant about the Electorial College being a vestige of slavery and demands that it must be removed from our Constitution. He points out that since 2000, Democrats have won the popular vote and still lost two presidencies. The game is rigged.

And the results have been dire. The privatization of public services taken over by corporate interests and the consequences that ensue include the poisoning of Flint's water supply. Thousands of children now suffer from irreversible lead poisoning. The NRA in its infinite wisdom, makes it quite clear that we love our guns more than our children. And it's now perfectly okay to take children away from their parents. In an interview with the last surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, the man tearfully remarks that what is happening in our country amounts to "crimes against humanity."

Photo courtesy BCNN1 WP

But "Fahrenheit 11/9" is not all gloom and doom. Moore delves into what student survivors of the Parkland shooting have accomplished. He covers the West Virginia teachers' strike as they fight an uphill battle, beating the odds. And he speaks with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about her unexpected victory in New York's recent primary. Moore's rapier wit, compelling anecdotes, self-deprecation and charismatic presence provide levity just when we need it.

At the close of this vastly important piece of filmmaking, archival footage of Hitler delivering a speech is interwoven with Trump comments. The resemblance is beyond disturbing. 231,556,622 eligible voters did not cast their ballots in 2016. Mr. Moore's movie is a call to action. Get off the bench. Stop the madness. Vote.  

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