September 23, 2018

11 Reasons to go see Fahrenheit 11/9.

*Warning: naughty language ahead! 


I know, you’ve got a full dance card.

You’re no fool, and you’ve seen all this guy’s movies already.

I get it. And you’re not wrong.

If you think you’re not gonna witness cinematic proof that Trump is a miscreant alien planted here to serve our overlords, you’re right.

It can be argued that there are no surprises in Fahrenheit 11/9.

But you should go see it anyway. Why, you ask?

Here’s my list of reasons:

11. Support the old campaigner.
Michael Moore has been flipping off the establishment since before God was out of diapers. Give the ancient, tireless slogger his due (and your $7.50), and spend a couple of hours to see where his trajectory has led him.

Will you cringe at his compulsion to be on screen without apparent benefit, and roll your eyes at his continued wide-ranging suppositions? Of course, baby. He is as deeply flawed as an overturned birdbath.

But he’s our birdbath, dammit.

10. Rock your cocktail.
Keep up, and be ready to answer the blasé opinions of the great unwatched, as they spout forth such gems as: “He hasn’t been interesting since Roger and Me.”

Come back like lightning with, “Well, how about when he interviewed that last remaining prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials? When they talked about all the children separated from immigrant parents? And the dude started crying?” Then watch the Philistine’s lips slam shut as waves of unintended interest envelop him.

9. Squirm a little.
There is a visceral discomfort in watching the Trump-as-inappropriate-father touch montage. Listen to the creepy audio captures, and realize in your very bones, that something has to give—changes need to come.

If those scenes don’t get you singing “We’ve gotta Get Out of this Place” at the top of your lungs, nothing will.

8. Step out of your stupid, dumb comfort zone.
If you’re anything like me (and I know I am), resignation is the water you swim in. Go see this movie just for the, “Fuck, what are we gonna do?” questions which it will raise deep within you.

Moore doesn’t pretend to have any answers in the film. But we all know that half of most solutions are born in dwelling courageously on the problem.

7. Suspend your lazy need for cohesion.
This film is being attacked for all the disjointed jumping Moore does from topic-to-topic.

Forget that. Go in looking for challenges. Pretend the filmmaker is going past basic storytelling branches to explore the roots underneath.

6. Fire up some hope.
Watch heartening moments from the #NeverAgain protests born of the Parkland School Shooting. Feel the win as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez makes a cameo—and suddenly we all want to knock on doors for her. Watch a teachers’ strike that actually worked.

This film isn’t without encouragements and endearments.

5. Get your kindness on.
We are in a sea of bile and it’s rising around us. Seeing everyone in the film speak with so much passion reminds us to keep our own center. Viewing this dumpster fire up close reveals that there are abstract forces greater than us at play, and at the very least, we have the power to be kind.

4. Have a laugh or two.
Moore brings a sense of humor to his work, and we need to hold fast to the promise of that in our own lives. Keep an eye out for the sardonic, wry moments and enjoy a good old fashioned, healing laugh—when you can.

3. Leap.
Start from the 2016 election, and the replayed shock—then jump all the way through to the weird, Hitler visual tied to Trump audio overlay. Leapfrog to the Flint water crisis exploration—that shit is vintage Moore by the way. Then hop over the give us hope sequences and finally, leap in fright from the creepy incestuous suggestions.

Take all of this barrage in, and in the space of two hours, you may also realize that this chosen form of presentation makes as much sense as America does today.

2. Get with your community.
I don’t care who is going to this film: conservatives, liberals, progressives or vegetarians—these are your people. They care enough to watch this unfolding up close, and see some offbeat journalism.

We need to show up to this, for each other. 

1. Remember.
Reach back to the “Wonderful World” montage in “Bowling for Columbine” and let yourself cry.

All of us need to be emotionally present to this body of work and, no matter how far afield it may feel today, we need to witness its unfolding.


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Karl Saliter

author: Karl Saliter

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