The right-wing attempt to stop theaters from showing Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 has run into a snag: $22Mil at the box office its opening weekend, making it the highest-grossing opening for a documentary ever. The Associated Press, with its typical “objectivity” claims without evidence of any kind that F9/11‘s success was the fault of “left-wing groups, which mobilized members to see it during the opening weekend.” Sure, that must be it. Phaedrus, with his usual keen eye for patently absurd right-wing memes, takes heart from this one.
If this blockbuster debut is a result of left wing groups mobilizing their members to see it, then the left in this country is a lot bigger than Americans have been led to believe. Notice the subtle bias in the article, though. “Left-wing groups” vs. “conservative groups.” If they’re really conservatives, and not right wing authoritarians, why did they try to keep people from seeing the movie?
This is a question that answers itself. Phaedrus was actually one of those weekend warriors, and you can read his review here.
I felt so sorry for Lila Lipscomb. She went to D.C. to aim her anger and hatred at the White House. Another woman told her to blame Al Qaeda. She walked away, and said to Moore something like, “People are so ignorant. They don’t know. I didn’t know.” And she dissolves into tears. In that moment I felt sorry even for the right wingers. People don’t know what they don’t know.
The promise of this movie–and the opening week shows it has one–is that it has the capacity to cut through the Murdock/Malone/Mighty Wutlitzer-induced national ignorance-quotient. They’ll see here what they haven’t read in their papers or seen on TV or heard on the radio, and it’s going to have an effect. Phaedrus gets the last word (at least until I finagle a way to see it).
I have seen the movie and you must see it. Like most Moore films it is absolutely hilarious at times. However, I spent much of the movie with tears rolling down my cheeks. Honey Punkin’, who’s as tough as raw brisket, said she turned her head to wipe her cheek because she was crying, and she saw that the guy next to her was wiping his cheeks as well.
Now that’s the power of truth.
Update: Rue the Day Dept–The LA Times reports a curious stat. Remember how Disney violated its contract to distribute F9/11 because it was afraid Jeb would use the govt to get back at them for handling a movie critical of his bro? Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein, who cut the deal with Disney, found another distributor in less than a week (Britain’s Lion’s Gate Films) because the buzz was that this doc was going to make a ton of money. Well, it seems that feeling was right.
“Fahrenheit 9/11” had a better opening than any of the nine feature films Disney has released this year.
In fact, almost better than three of the nine put together. Another bad business decision, Mr Eisner. They’re starting to mount up, aren’t they? And the AP slur gets a little reality-check, too:
Informal surveys of theaters and rival studios also indicated that the film was attracting crowds wherever it played in the GOP-leaning “red states” as well as the Democrat blue. Much of the audience was predictably left of center, but in addition to places like the liberal enclave of Santa Monica it was doing well even in several cities in the president’s home state of Texas.
I love it when right-wing fantasy slams into hard-core reality.