Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Kansas City Star : Exiles strike back at filmmaker Michael Moore



Knight Ridder Newspapers

(KRT) - Weeks after Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" became a controversial blockbuster in the United States, the film and its maker are generating a new wave of attention - this time from Cubans on both sides of the Florida Straits.

In Cuba, where leader Fidel Castro is in a heightened war of words with President Bush, bootlegged copies of Moore's Bush-bashing documentary were shown to packed cinemas for a week, and the film was aired on state-run television July 29.

Cuban Americans who support Bush are vilifying Moore on Spanish-language radio, the Internet and in e-mails.

Their objection, beyond the new film: inflammatory pieces Moore wrote about Cuban exiles in 1997 and 2000 in which he called them ''Batista supporters'' and ''wimps'' who were wrong not to immediately send home child-boater Elian Gonzalez.

The controversy has put Cuban-American Democrats in a sensitive spot: Moore's writings about Miami exiles are sure to offend some of them, but the filmmaker's anti-Bush message resonates strongly with Democrats eager to reclaim the White House.

(click on the title for the whole article)

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