Film Review: Fahrenheit 11/9

Michael Moore’s exploration of the current US political era is more a call to action than a documentary. Fahrenheit 11/9 is passionate and thought provoking in any case. 

Michael Moore’s film looks at a number of aspects of the last few years in American politics. The film is concerned with how Donald Trump ran for president, the Political system, and socio-political upheaval that has taken place. Moore takes the two hour plus run time to explore these various elements, circling back to stories later on to empathise the links. 

Viewers will be forgiven for thinking that Moore will delve into Russian links or explore the demographics that voted for Trump. However, Moore has a more interesting proposition than this. He explores the political system, in hoc to major donors, that works against ordinary people getting involved with politics. He explores what led to the water crisis in Flint, and how the reaction to it from politicians tempered residents’ view of the political class. Moore posits that it was a rotten system that elected Trump. 

Even though he makes some compelling points, it would have been interesting to see Moore tackle the demographic discrepancies in Trump/Clinton voters. This aside, Moore presents the positive and negative rather well. He presents a new breed of candidates who make for a refreshing change to the intended candidates. He shows successes in the West Virginia teachers’ strike, and the galvanising of support engineered by the Parkland students following the shooting. 

In the final third of Fahrenheit 11/9, Moore returns to Trump once more, drawing the parallels in his campaign and leadership to the rise of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Although this is laid on thick, the historians he speaks to make very interesting points. 

Those familiar with Moore’s other documentaries will recognise the presentation style. Music is used well for the most part, although it is played heavy at certain points. Moore gives viewers plenty to laugh at, and these do not negate from the moments of frustration and anger. 

What Moore lacks in objectivity, he excels in passion. As he discusses in Fahrenheit 11/9 however,it is questionable whether the message will get through to the ones who need it most. 

Fahrenheit 11/9 will be screened at BFI London Film Festival in October 20018, and is out in cinemas on 19th October 2018.

Film Review: A Dangerous Game

A Dangerous Game

Anthony Baxter’s A Dangerous Game is an illuminating documentary on an important subject. A follow-up to You’ve Been Trumped, Baxter shines a light on significant concerns.

Anthony Baxter picks up on the troubles of local residents who opposed the building of Donald Trump’s luxury golf resort on Scottish wilderness area. The film also extends its focus, exploring the issues that arise from the construction of luxury golf resorts in different regions…

You’ve Been Trumped functioned as something of a microcosm, with its concentration on Aberdeenshire. A Dangerous Game looks at issues on a wider scale, looking at different communities in different countries, and different corporates. The film considers the environmental impact of resort building, as well as looking at who benefits from it.

A Dangerous Game can be compelling viewing thanks to this broader view. The film focuses on a handful of regions across the world, looking at later impact on environments not naturally apt for golfing. The financial implications of building such resorts are also discussed.

Anthony Baxter speaks to a variety of individuals during the course of A Dangerous Game, giving the film a more rounded view. Among those interviewed are developers, residents, environmental lawyers and experts, as well as government officials, although only a minority of the latter agreed to talk. Baxter asks some interesting questions with A Dangerous Game, and the silence of those with a governmental role speaks volumes.

The film is edited well, jumping from location to location in a seamless rather than jarring fashion. The opening titles are great. It is clear that A Dangerous Game focuses on a subject dear to the filmmaker. His passion in attempting to find answers and give a voice to those not in positions of power is clear throughout the film. It is this that helps to make A Dangerous Game an engaging documentary.