It was only a matter of time until Michael Moore made a film in the era of Donald Trump.
“Fahrenheit 11/9” is a title that’s an homage to arguably Moore’s best film, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” “Fahrenheit 11/9” has a great deal of anti-Trump footage that’s monotonous and overlong, but there’s plenty of material that makes this movie worth watching.
“Fahrenheit 11/9” is an autopsy on the Trump presidency: how Trump got elected, how certain social and economic events shaped his pathway to the White House and much more. Moore’s ultimate goal is to understand how and why Trump was elected and where the country goes from here.
It’s a shame that Moore spends too much time on the “what” of Trump rather than focusing more on the “how” and “why." The first and final chunk of this film highlights the despicable rhetoric and behavior displayed by Trump: his overt racism, bigotry, misogyny, etc.
Moore certainly isn’t wrong by calling out Trump’s inexcusable words and behavior, but it’s all things that we’re already aware of. Unless you live under a rock, you’ll recognize all of this film’s stock footage of Trump doing and saying reprehensible things.
“Fahrenheit 11/9” truly shines when Moore examines smaller, contained national tragedies that Moore considers pre-texts or subplots to the Trump presidency. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is the film’s stand-out topic, highlighting the cyclical nature of poverty and how men in positions of power exploit the weak and vulnerable. The commentary on recent teacher strikes and students pushing for gun control are also strong segments.
You can expect to see the typical grassroots, bootstrapping journalism from Moore as well. Interviews with activists, community organizers and young politicians contain much insight and perspective that you don’t typically see on more mainstream news platforms.
Many will complain that Moore is too leftist or one-sided in his arguments, but Moore is no stranger to criticizing his own party for their lack of leadership and initiative. Moore detractors will be in for a treat to see Michael Moore go after prominent democratic figures, particularly Obama, and their failures before and after Trump was elected.
“Fahrenheit 11/9” has a lot of what you would expect from a filmmaker who despises Donald Trump, but there’s still enough to make this film a funny, intriguing, and important entry in Michael Moore’s filmography.