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Cannes 2004: Moore to step in with controversy

Michael Moore is now perhaps a man who the world knows as well as it does the American President. His documentary film, "Bowling for Columbine", evoked a passionate controversy over the rampant gun culture in the U.S.

His latest movie, also a documentary, "Fahrenheit 9-11", is all set to take the Cannes International Film Festival, beginning May 12, by storm. Part of the Festival -- which is the biggest cinema event in the world -- Moore's latest work links American President George Bush with prominent Saudi Arabians, including the family of Osama bin Laden.

What is more, the Bush administration helped the family flee the U.S. after 9-11.

Moore also examines the intimate connection between the Bush family and the Saudi Royals.

Michael Moore

Moore has always had  this penchant for ruffling feathers. When he accepted an Oscar for "Bowling for Columbine" in 2003, he took Bush for sending "us to a fictious war" in Iraq.

Moore was right, but of course.

Today, we know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair had virtually fooled the world into believing that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had such arms hidden way.

All this pales in significance, when one looks at the latest visuals being published in the world Press and telecast by leading global channels. The American media has been most active here. The torture of Iraqi prisoners -- many of them innocent victims who had nothing to do with the ongoing war in their country -- by frustrated occupying U.S. forces merely reaffirms a suspicion that Bush is awfully foolish in trying to subjucate an entire population. Will Iraq be another Vietnam ?

Moore deliberates this in his documentary and underlines the disillusionment of the American soldiers with the war.

However, Walt Disney Company is preventing its Miramax division -- which produced "Fahrenheit 9-11" -- from distributing it. But Moore will find any number of other distributors, especially after his movie is screened at Cannes.

Miramax itself is unhappy with the Disney decision,and plans to take the legal route if discussions fail.

At Cannes, most journalists will be eager to meet Moore, who is all set to cross the Atlantic to spend several days at the French Riviera.

Moore's films, like "Roger and Me" and "Bowling for Columbine," are often a political lightning rod, as the director sets out to skewer what he says are the misguided priorities of conservatives and big business. They have also often performed well at the box office.

His books such as "Stupid White Men," a jeremiad against the Bush administration that has sold more than a million copies, have also been lucrative.

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