6th Magazine - 1 December 2004
Hate him or hate him, George W. Bush has overcome the barrage of criticism in his first term to win a second term in office as President of the United States. This film failed in turning the tide for Democratic hopeful John Kerry in the Presidential election last month, but provides us with everything we feel liberated to know.
This film opens by looking at the circumstances preceding Bush’s victory over Democratic opponent Al Gore to win the 2000 Presidency, allegedly by 537 votes in the state of Florida. The first thirty minutes illustrate the scandalous tactics Bush employed to skew the result in his favour, such as knocking up to half a million African Americans off the roles, as traditionally, they weren’t likely to vote for him.
‘Fahrenheit’ then looks upon the time surrounding September 11, focusing upon Bush’s ‘time out’ at a Texas ranch; playing golf, fishing and watching his dog “chase Armadillos” whilst cutting counter-terrorism funds from the FBI and ignoring urgent reports on Bin Laden as a terrorist threat. Moore then explores Bush’s time as an ambitious oil businessman, building up relationships with Saudi tycoons and in particular the Bin Laden family, which presents a link into the next topic of the film, the Iraq war.
‘Fahrenheit’ accounts for the contradictory testimonies given by the Bush administration on the ‘terrorist threat’ and Bush’s persistence and eventual success in injecting his country with the ‘War on Terror’ – a psychological engineering of opinion in order to gear support.
A mood of sombreness underlies the final forty minutes or so, with front line soldiers and their families telling the stories they have lived.
This film tells chronological story of Bush’s first term as President; from the corridors of power in Congress and the White House, to the streets of America and to the front line in Iraq. A tale of corporate corruption, senseless death, unnecessary warfare and political favouritism. Let the facts speak for themselves.