Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Recovering Republicans & Inhabitants of a Bubble

"I just saw 'Fahrenheit 9/11’ tonight with my husband and I must say that I am still numb. I feel so naive...almost like I have been living in a bubble!"

I haven't yet seen Fahrenheit 9/11 (it doesn't yet play in my hometown), but I earlier saw Bowling for Columbine. Based on that film, what struck me as most distinct about his filmmaking is something quite contrary to what the Moore-bashers on the right and "center" (read mainstream press) claim (in hopes people won't see it for themselves): that he portrays even the 'negative' characters in his films as humans.

His tool is simple: to get interviewed people in a situation where they can't carry on with acting their role, their role in the issue that is the topic of the documentary. The scary nutty weekend militiamen who turn out to be ordinary people with ordinary, boring jobs. The hyper-paranoid, ticky Nichols who keeps a gun under his pillow, who says "there are whackos out there". The tough sheriff who bursts into tears when asked about the drawing on his wall, drawn by an eight-year murderer. And evil Charlton Heston, who when walking away is revealed to be a fragile old man.

Moore's selection from his 6,000 letters a day that respond to his latest movie is in line with this - almost all were written by (now-ex-)Republicans making detailed 'confessions'. I encourage American leftists and anti-Bush rightists to read them all - finding sympathy for and understanding the mind of Bush voters could help more in an eventual effort to 'deconvert' one of them than thousand more facts.


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