Moore Film 'Could Bring Down Bush'
By Admin., May 28, 2004
US President George W Bush's election hopes could be blown apart by a film to be shown at the Cannes film festival, which is why the White House is trying to keep it out of US theatres, its director, Michael Moore, charged.
Fahrenheit 911, which is to get its premiere Monday, is a powerful documentary exploring Bush's actions after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Bush's family's long commercial relationship with Osama bin Laden and the Iraq war, he said.
But it is also, Moore said, a tool which would inspire US voters to remove "the dumbest man who ever ran for the presidency" and overturn foreign policies which have created "a lot of havoc in the world".
The maverick director - whose appearance at a conference hosted by the US movie industry magazine Variety was one of the hottest tickets at the festival - alleged that the White House was behind a campaign to stop the film from being distributed in the United States before the November presidential election.
An unnamed senior Republican politician, "someone connected to the White House", telephoned companies that bankrolled the film to get them to drop their commitments to it, he said.
Even though production company Miramax is now seeking a deal to buy out the US rights to the film after parent group Disney reneged on a distribution deal, Moore said, nothing has yet resulted that would allow the film to come out in the United States.
"That's the intent in trying to stop this film - so people don't see it before the election," he said.
The fiercely left-wing director, who won an Oscar for his last documentary, Bowling for Columbine, which also won a prize at Cannes two years ago, said the new documentary included much footage from Iraq - some of it by crews who managed to spend much time with US military units.
"You will see things not seen before, you will learn things not known before," he said.
He vowed that Americans would see the documentary soon, even if it took illegal means, and that once it was widely seen, Bush and his government would realize their political future is "totally f....d", Moore said.
"I want this film out and I want it out this summer. After, I'll have things to say," he said after explaining his uncharacteristic muting of criticism of Disney.
The hulking, bearded filmmaker, wearing his usual baseball cap, said he was prepared for a backlash by many compatriots, but stated that "I'm the most patriotic American" because he believes in the United States' founding principles.
"One of those principles is that you do not invade another country that is not invading you," he said, hinting at the tone his documentary takes.
"Only people who are un-American would cover up the torture and abuse in Iraq," he added, making reference to recently published photographs showing US soldiers humiliating and terrorizing Iraqi prisoners.
Moore's film is not the only one delving into the topicality of the Iraq war and Bush at the Cannes festival, though it is the only one that has a shot at Cannes's Palme d'Or prize.
Uncovered: The War on Iraq, a documentary to be shown in the presence of former US ambassador and Bush critic Joseph Wilson, is to be shown out of competition, as is Bush's Brain, a documentary about the president's political adviser, Karl Rove.
On a commercial level, all these productions are looking to reproduce the success of Moore's Bowling for Columbine, which cost about $US4 million ($A6 million) to make but reaped 30 times that much, about $US120 million around the world.
These are also movies which have something to say: something Moore and the other directors believe can change the country they live in - and something Bush would prefer not to see on the big screen.Guerilla Funk Recordings.http://184.108.40.206/thoughts/doc4548.html