Arts & Culture

Review: Trump not star of ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’


Michael Olderr, Contributor


“Fahrenheit 11/9” is probably one of the more captivating documentaries produced this year. The film is captivating in stylistic editing and in the climactic execution, though it takes a while to get to that point. It might not change anyone’s minds, but it surely will be a call to others to take action in the Trump era.

The film doesn’t shy away from dragging Trump’s name in the ground. He is an important element, but not the main subject: which is the environment to which he got elected and the people’s decision on what to do next. It shows the people who are struggling as well as the people who are to blame. The Democratic Party, congressmen, past presidents, all share the blame in Michael Mooreʻs eyes. In fact, this film could just as easily be against the Democratic Party as much as it is against Trump, which is surprising considering Moore being on the left side of the spectrum.

The film’s editing which is in a league of its own. Every cut and transition is fluid; Moore takes his talent to the next level in this piece. The pacing makes it feel like you were seeing a movie that was an hour shorter than it actually was. The movie appropriately slows so you can absorb more information. One of the best examples of this is in the film’s opening which shows a recap of election night with engaging music playing over people’s excitement over the results. As the night goes on, the song disappears into the background and echoes across the halls creating a sense of dread.

If there is any flaw in the movie, it is Moore’s bias against Trump. Moore is not known for a neutral stance in his films, and this one is no exception. He does not like Trump, and if you are a supporter, then you are not going to like this film. The director uses obvious fallacies against Trump and makes leaps to judgments. Some points are kind of flaky at first, but towards the end you can see why comparisons were made. At the end of the day, Trump is not the star of this documentary. It is not made to change our minds on the President. It is made to examine conditions and for those who still have a choice to make.

The film’s greatest asset is showing people and their struggles. The prime example is the coverage of the Flint water crisis. If you didn’t know about the water crisis, you will know everything before the credits roll. It shows the hopelessness of the situation, the corruption, and why the state of Michigan looks to Trump for help. That’s the true star of the documentary: you — People who are rising up and challenging the way things are being done. It’s about how everyday people have come to the conclusion that enough is enough. It shows everyday people taking down experienced politicians and rising up. The film suggests that perhaps we needed Trump to come along to spark urgent change. When the credits start rolling, you begin questioning how you will help with that.

This article first appeared in the Friday, September 28 edition of The Echo.

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