France : F9/11's wild year and the release of the DVD
In France the big winner of the year at the box office was Les Choristes, with 8 572 473 tickets sold. Though it was just a harmless little French comedy, it did better than Harry Potter and Spiderman 2…
Of course there’s a (comfortable) place for F9/11 : its 2 373 486 tickets make it the most successful documentary ever in France after Le Monde du Silence by Cousteau (4 640 159 at the time it went out in the fifties) and Microcosmos by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou (3 515 336 tickets in the nineties) which were both French and both about animals. F9/11 also allowed the relative success of Super Size Me (167 286 tickets) and the release of The Corporation on Dec 29th.
Something worth to be noted is the fact that whereas it did three times more tickets than F9/11 in America, The Passion of Christ failed to reach Mr Moore’s achievement in France : 1 703 125 tickets.
The F9/11 DVD has just been released over here. The French DVD has exclusive bonuses, due to Canal +, our pro-Moore / anti-Bush channel. La Palme et le Brûlot (The Award and the Lampoon) sum up the case for and against Mr Moore in a very pedagogic way, thanks to well chosen interviews confronting one another in a row. The disapproving ones being strikingly more tender than their American counterparts – French leftist Jose Bove asks himself if “fire with fire” is really the best way to go, not if it’s contemptible. Critic Guy Gauthier reminds everybody of the fact that all documentaries are “documented points of view” and therefore “are not objective”, and ex-Minister of Culture Jack Lang (PS, that is, Democrat, but on Kucinich’s side) gets all worked up and warmly praises F9/11, bluntly stating that “you can never get caricatured enough with Bush”.
Surprisingly, the DVD hardly mentions the election. There’s only the first mail sent by Mr Moore on November 2nd, the list of the American soldiers who died in Iraq. Makes you wonder why they had to wait for January then !