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Documentary provokes controversy

Jen Rowling | Friday, September 3, 2004

Sold-out crowds packed the new Performing Arts Center to see both showings of Michael Moore’s controversial documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” Thursday night.

Running opposite to the Republican National Convention – in both timeslot and viewpoint – Moore’s “provocumentary” made the same waves on campus as it has across the country.

In the film, Moore criticizes what he considers to be the failings of the Bush presidency, including the considerable number of vacation hours he clocked during his first term, his family’s speculated friendship with the Bin Ladins and the administration’s perceived negligence to stop the atrocities of Sept.11.

Moore also accused Bush of stirring up fears of war for his own financial benefit.

The subject matter, defended by Moore’s camp but just as staunchly attacked by Bush’s, has sparked debate everywhere from kitchens and classrooms since its release on June 25.

Notre Dame is no exception.

“It made me feel Bush was not in as much control as he portrayed himself to be. However, Michael Moore is also extremely biased. For the most part it made me feel sympathetic for the soldiers,” said sophomore Meghan Hurt, a self-described independent Republican. “I still do not believe Bush could have done anything to stop 9/11. In the upcoming elections I will not change my Republican vote”.

For senior Andrea Wolfe, the shock factor left the biggest impression.

“It is good to be aware of some of the things that occurred throughout 9/11 and the war, but it wasn’t very delicately presented. It was harsh,” she said. “Some comedy added relief to tension and took away from the seriousness of the matter.”

The film politically resonated more for some, like junior Austin Buckley.

“It is entertaining, I agree with a lot of Moore’s ideas, though I think he could have made his points a little more coherent,” he said.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” will be shown again Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. in the Browning Cinema.