The most relevant political film ever is “The Wave“, and a sister version made in Germany. Based on a true story, a sixth former in California asked how did German people ever become Nazis. In later lessons, their teachers start to coach them in ways that ends up with them supporting despot ideas and sharing a wave sign for a zeig heil.
This in the end is the message of Michael More’s latest film, “Fahrenheit 11/9“. But dialled to 11 through much of the film, ribalding “fake news” but with too many false endings, the film is too long.
Shelly Runyon (underhand Republican politician): “Take a magic marker, cross out the word “objectivity”. Your constituents want you for your opinions, your philosophy, for your subjectivity.”
– from The Contender.
I’ve always been struck by this quote. It says loads. Perhaps the filmmakers meant it as a condemnation, but I’m not sure. I take it to mean energise people to vote for what you believe. Just don’t take the quote to mean it’s OK to lie.
In this context, I take it as a reminder that Michael Moore makes editorials, not documentaries. And I think his main conclusion is just wrong.
Cos at the end, he essentially says if the political system, many aspects of which he’s been celebrating for much of the previous 2 hours, brings us to Trump, of what use is it; and let’s get rid. Another version of despotic exhortation. I’m not putting him anywhere near Trump’s level, but it’s an uncharitable conclusion, which prompts me to say that I don’t accept his mea culpa at the outset for being soft on Trump when a tv programme asked him to.
And yet I do recommend going to see the movie.
(r:7.5; s:4; e:3; t:3)
Cos the episodes are interesting, often telling and at times very uplifting:
* that the Democrats have recently been losing winning hands; from a populace that is more to the left that you’d commonly understand;
* that Hillary Clinton hid from people in the 2016 campaign;
* that mainstream politics has created a new majority – of the uninterested and not voting;
* that the media loved the ratings boosts Trump’s appearances have given them;
* the extraordinary tragedy of polluted water supply to the city of Flint in Michigan; that Trump visited when the others didn’t; that Obama visited and upset people when they were looking to him for salvation;
* the West Virginian Democrat making a strong showing cos of his direct style in an unwinnable district; (a showing that The Guardian reports has been harmed by professional advisors turning up to help him out, although I think the problem has been recognised);
* the student protests led by victims of a shooting in a Florida school, that saw teenagers organise massive rallies and actually trigger the downfall of a Maine state senator in a previously unchallenged seat;
* a new wave of women and BME candidates that are having an impact;
* a strike by West Virginian teachers, and other school staff, protesting against a more expensive health insurance that required. them to wear monitors, that grew from a few counties to all 55; and with it, an explanation of what being a “red neck” originally meant;
* how despotism took over the advanced and well-red Germany of the 1930’s;
* a tragic scene shot of a child separated from their parents in Nazi Germany.
Finally, again from The Contender –