TF1 (French Fox News)
"Fahrenheit 9/11", subjective but efficient
Without a concession, F911’s self-proclaimed aim is the ruin of a man. You’ve got to take it for what it is. The filmmaker investigates in the sole purpose to defeat George W. Bush, making his documentary a mere tool for campaigning. Therefore Michael Moore is not interested in being objective. It’s even the opposite. So, during the 2 hours of his movie, the filmmaker does display his frightening accusation with self-confidence and humour. This “truth” will enhance some opinions, while it will shock other people. All in all, F911 is an entertaining movie where laughter comes to terms with emotion, and provocation with reflection. This movie can’t leave you unconcerned anyway.
LE FIGARO (stark right)
Michael Moore’s anti-Bush sham fighting
A questionable Palme d’Or from an artistic and cinematographic viewpoint, the Award given to F911 will at least have launched Michael Moore’s international career and flattered his already big ego. Starting from a lefty buffoon status among the Democrats as well as the Republicans, he’s now become one of the symbols of the anti-Bush crusade, according to the very serious Time Magazine
which allows him to its cover this week, while expressing important guardedness on the filmmaker’s methods and complacency. Let’s only keep in mind one of his sayings : “I’m the serious person and Bush is the comedian.”
In the movie, every info is turned into charge indictment in a file which obviously operates in no subtle way. In short, Michael Moore uses the gross tricks of the propaganda genre, and his film comes out as manipulating, reducing and not very satisfactory as far as intelligence or information are concerned. Unless of course you consider the average European spectator to be the same as the middle American, Michael Moore’s favourite target.
"Fahrenheit 9/11", Michael Moore’s fire-brand, comes to town
Between the biting humour of images crushing President Bush and the grief of a mother who lost her son in Iraq, the 50-year-old troublemaker born in Flint, a Michigan city devastated by unemployment, provides a merciless demonstration of the links between the Bin Ladens and the Bushes.
Michael Moore denounces the lies and the use made of the 9/11 attacks to justify the war in Iraq, an endless source of profits for some firms turning out to be affiliated to some of the President’s men.
The suitably informed spectators will find no spectacular revelations in this movie, nor will the readers of “Dude Where’s My Country ?” for that matter. But the forbidden images of young mutilated soldiers, their expressing their disarray, the Talibans’ visit to Texas, the unwilling search for Bin Laden’s hide-out in Afghanistan are proofs nobody can deny in this trial.
L’HUMANITE (stark left)
Panic at the White House
A natural born instigator, Michael Moore makes his French comedian Francis Blanche’s motto : “Every time I hear about guns, I pull my cultural trigger”.
Everybody doesn’t feel at ease facing the success and impact of the film. There were spiteful grins after the Palme d’Or was awarded. Eversince, everyone is splitting hairs, fussing about, claiming the wheat is to be separated from the tares, the “mistakes” of an involved movie need to be pointed out and laid bare to a supposedly naive audience. Gee ! How burning creation and politics look to them when they stand out of predictable humdrum, when they’re handled by unauthorized hands. An artist chooses to cry out, with talent, against the stupidity of those unfortunately empowered to lead our planet to many a catastrophy. His irreverence is disturbing. Great ! So much for ready-made thinking ! « Art, as painter Dubuffet used to put it, doesn’t lie in beds made for it. » Neither does Michael Moore’s cinema. His films are shaking down the world. Who’s going to complain, in a time like ours, about this good and great kick in the anthill ?
F2 (National mainstream TV)
America in self-doubt
In his books, his films, his TV series, Michael Moore has succeeded in polarizing one single grain of sand in the American machinery.
While the arguments he exposes are impossible to debunk and have all been revealed in the press before him (Bush as a businessman, the pre-planning of the invasion, the phoney proofs of the presence of WMD…), Moore is above all interested in the repercussion of the facts in American society. And he does it live.
The most striking images will remain those of this American Congress member standing astounded and speechless as Moore asks him to send in Iraq his own offspring, only one of his colleagues having ever done so. A strong memory, well worth a 2 hour movie on the topic.
Beyond that, the American troublemaker is constantly up to his own high standards regarding aesthetics, and, thanks to devastating humour, allows his audience into thinking. Which only enhances the convincing potential of the movie.
LA VOIX DU NORD (local paper)
The Michael Moore method
It’s understood : F911 denounces a system meant to impoverish the poor and uses insecurity as a political weapon. Nothing like France !
Michael Moore also attacks the warmongers, as symbolised by the Carlyle group, guilty of multiple links with the powers that be. Fortunately, in France the two biggest war merchants only possess half of the media. No matter for a documentary !
Well… How much hypocrisy comes into our loving Michael Moore so much ?
OUEST FRANCE (local paper)
Whatever he says, Michael Moore has no new documents to reveal. The core of everything he says has already been said or broadcast. But he often uses things in new and different ways, such as this long scene shot on 9/11 in the morning, in the primary school where George W. Bush is reading a story to the children when someone suddenly informs him America is attacked. Such a surreal moment, when the numbness of the President looks more frightening than ludicrous…
MICHAEL MOORE ON AMERICA AND FRANCE (France Info interview)
Are you a patriot ?
I don’t use this word. I love the values America stands for, which are the same as the ones you cherish in France : freedom of speech, the 5th amendment. Which doesn’t mean these values are always respected.
What do you think about France ?
Without France, America wouldn’t exist. In France everybody knows the American government is illegitimate and act wrong. So Bush won’t show any respect for your country, but neither does Kerry, since he’s afraid to take side with the “enemy”.
LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR (moderate left)
(CARTOON : Moore carved in Mount Rushmore along with Julia Roberts, Robert Redford and… Abe Lincoln)
Part of America we love
Without a doubt, he’s the last of the American lefties. He bears Woody Guthrie and Steinbeck’s legacy. The other left-leaning stars of American cinema - Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, John Sayles, Robert Redford – are calm, reasonable, respectful, in a word, clean. Whereas Michael Moore doesn’t respect anything. He fights, he shouts, he’s not even polite. Good Golly, how great it is !
Michael Moore is afraid of nothing. Except of a vegetarian meal. He’s funny, he’s caustic, he’s biting, he’s astute, his bad faith would make anyone blush. In short, we love him.
Photo: Madeleine BAROUKHEL-MOUREAU, French F911 Contributor