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Fahrenheit 9/11: Not for all

Michael Moore's controversial documentary,  "Fahrenheit 9/11", has been given an "R" rating. This means that  those under 17 will not be able to watch it. The Motion Picture Association of American said that since the film had "violent and disturbing images and strong language", it was not fit for  universal viewing.

Moore and his American distributor do not agree, and feel that  the restriction is inappropriate.

They have a point. The movie, which is being released in the  U.S. on June 25 2004, is a powerfully honest indictment of President  George Bush and his policies before and after September 11. It is  also a scathing critique of Bush's Iraq war.

"It is sadly very possible that many 15- and 16-year-olds will be  asked and recruited to serve in Iraq in the next couple of  years," Moore said in a statement. "If they are old enough to be  recruited and capable of being in combat and risking their lives,  they certainly deserve the right to see what is going on in Iraq."

Moore at Cannes

Scheduled to open in nearly 1000 cinemas across America -- one of the biggest ever releases for a documentary -- "Fahrenheit 9/11" grabbed world attention when it won the top Golden Palm at the recent Cannes International Film Festival.

Moore, who won an Oscar in 2002 for his documentary, "Bowling for Columbine", has little hesitation in lambasting Bush for forcing young American soldiers to fight an absolute fictitious war in Iraq. " The war is based on a lie: "I do not think that America was ever threatened by Iraq", Moore said soon after "Fahrenheit 9/11" was screened at Cannes' most prestigious competition section.

He has more devastating comments to make in his movie, and here are a few examples of how effectively he has used his camera to  what now appears like an honest attempt to bring down the  President of the world'’s most powerful nation, and in the  election year ! "I would think that Bush is immoral in doing what  he has been doing in Iraq", and Moore'’s documentary screens clips  of atrocities outside Iraqi prisons. "An immoral act begets an  immoral act", Moore pardons American soldiers in Iraq by  explaining that they have been forced to fight a war that does  not concern America.

"Fahrenheit 9-11" documents the connection between the Bush  family and Saudi Royals, and reveals how the President and his  administration helped 24 members of Osama bin Laden'’s family flee  the U.S. days after September 11, 2001. "In order to keep his  business interests alive, Bush has managed to keep his country  under a constant security alert. …I do not think Saddam Hussein was ever a threat to America", Moore criticises the present U.S.  government.

The film is powerful, and is gripping for all of its two hours. One sees an expressionless Bush as he sits talking to school  children even after being informed of the attacks on New York's  Twin Towers. "Bush sat like that for about 15 minutes", Moore  says in the picture. "Probably, he did not want to let go the photo opportunity he was having with those kids". There is  another sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11", where Bush openly rebukes  Moore and tells to "go do a real job".  Certainly, this is no boring documentary, but one that is as gripping as a feature, and has enough substance and punch to ruin Bush's chances of re-election at the end of this year.

Understandably, the U.S. administration is seeking just about  every way to limit the damage that More and his moving images can  cause.

(Posted on this website on June 18 2004)

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