Fahrenheit 11/9 is a compelling call to action

Michael Moore adds another powerful story to his impressive resume


Stephen Simmons, Staff Reporter

Michael Moore is known for directing provocative documentaries which take on controversial topics like health care in “Sicko,” gun control in “Bowling For Columbine” and the 2003 invasion of Iraq in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” In his latest film, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” Moore takes an in-depth – and at times aggressive – look at the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The result is a thoughtful, absorbing and sometimes messy answer to a question that’s been on America’s mind for almost two years: how did this happen?

Moore’s greatest strength as a filmmaker is his ability to provoke extreme emotion in his viewers. “Fahrenheit 11/9” is effective largely because it makes you angry, sad, hopeful and angry all over again over the course of two hours. We see Michigan Governor Rick Snyder lying to the citizens of Flint, Michigan about the lethal amounts of lead in their tap water. We hear President Donald Trump encourage his supporters to physically attack black protesters at his rallies. The story of the successful West Virginia teachers’ strike is positive and optimistic. All the tales of horror and triumph encourage viewers to take action before our fates are decided for us.

This documentary was marketed as a focused attack on Trump’s election and presidency. While Moore makes his contempt for Trump and his administration aggressively clear, “Fahrenheit 11/9” serves more as an examination of the political and social climate in the U.S. before the election. It bounces between topics like the Flint water crisis, school shootings and political activism. This may make the film seem unorganized at first, but Moore manages to tie the themes together at the end.

This film contains some imagery and rhetoric that may be offensive to some viewers. Moore makes explicit comparisons between Trump and Adolf Hitler, and he makes references to Trump’s sexual assault allegations. Moore made no attempt to be subtle here, and his subjective presentation of U.S. politics will not be attractive to everyone.

“Fahrenheit 11/9” is an analysis of the events leading up to the 2016 election, which makes it more valuable than if it had solely been another criticism of President Trump. It tells a story that calls for U.S. citizens to get involved in the political process.