Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2018 and will be in theatres on September 21, 2018, looks at the shocking election of Donald Trump and the aftermath of this unlikely presidency. The documentary is Moore’s wake-up call to Americans regarding the corrupt state of their political system. Released just in time for voters to digest before considering their political choices at the November mid-term elections, the incendiary documentary is just as relevant for many Canadians when you consider the radical actions of the current Premier of Ontario.
If you’ve seen Moore’s previous docs (Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko to name a few), you’re familiar with the Flint, Michigan native’s bombastic film-making style. For all of its in-your-face language, Moore has expertly compiled an impressive montage of media clips to show how Americans got to this point – to refresh our memories about Trump’s behaviour leading up to the election and the majority of media pundits’ predictions that Hillary Clinton would win. Moore even speculates that Trump threw his hat in the ring for the presidency on a whim to show NBC how popular he was. Moore covers a lot of ground to highlight Trump’s deception to the people, implying that the masses are gullible folks. Expanding his focus to point out what is broken within the system, Moore highlights the case of grossly underpaid teachers in West Virginia being required to use a Fitbit before being granted health benefits. Former President Barack Obama is not spared from Moore’s gaze as he underscores the former President’s unwillingness to acknowledge that the municipal water in Flint is causing illness. In the doc’s most chilling comparison, Moore makes a compelling argument to show similarities between the rise of Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump. The documentary is not without its amusing stunts typical of the director such as when Moore tries to hose down Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s house with lead-contaminated Flint, Michigan water.
If this all sounds too alarming for you, there is a positive message halfway through the documentary with the focus on the Parkland high school students’ courageous efforts to unite with students across the country to confront politicians about lax gun laws. Moore also interviews many grassroots Democratic hopefuls running for Congress who believe that the Nancy Pelosis and other stalwarts of the Democratic party must make way for fresh voices.
I’m giving it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.