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Michael Moore was one of very few commentators who suggested that Trump was in with a serious shot of being President. He said he knew working class voters and how they think and he knew that what Trump was saying resonated with them. None of this stops him asking at the beginning of this film : “How the f*** did we get here?” Whilst all of Moore’s films are well worth watching they are usually more focused and precise than “Fahrenheit 11/9”. In a somewhat scattershot approach he focuses on numerous targets some of which seem to have tenuous links to the President, though I suspect his overall point is that the political class and system have continually let people down and allowed a person like Trump to swagger into the void.
Subsequently he highlights a staggering case of political corruption and negligence in Flint Michigan , where the water supply was switched from Lake Huron to the local river, which turned out to be heavily polluted with lead. Yet when this was discovered city officials investigating were told to cover up the incriminating findings with the water eventually being re-sourced back the lake , but only for the areas Automobile industries, where the parts where being corroded by the toxic water. Astonishingly we are then shown Barack Obama visiting the city and drinking from a glass of water in a showcase of solidarity with the leaders of the city. Then we are shown military exercises carried out at night in the middle of the city in front of terrified residents , again this happened under the Presidency of Obama, and I guess what Moore is showing here is the disconnect and contempt ordinary voters are held in .
Equally astonishingly we see the Democratic Party ignore the votes for left wing candidate Bernie Sanders in favour of Hilary Clinton , the preferred establishment ticket, and of course this was one of the main attack points Trump utilised against Clinton- that he operated outside of the established political systems- a maverick , an auteur. Nonsense of course , but against Clinton he could make it work.
There is more material , clumsily comparing the rise of Trump to the rise of the Third Reich through a doctored video of Trump speaking over footage of a Nazi rally and some genuinely creepy footage of Trump admiring his daughter Ivanka,s figure and leering over her .
As ever Moore offers hope and optimism, covering mass strikes by teachers that won the pay and concessions they were after but also stating out on strike to earn parity for other workers and most hopefully the kids who spoke out so eloquently after the mass shooting in Parkland and who engineered mass protests , with such success that it makes you wish they had run the Democratic campaign against Trump.
Not so much a diatribe against Trump in the White House ( that could come later, and there are worrying hints he is after breaking the two term cycle for Presidents) more a head shaking examination of how he got there in the first place Fahrenheit 11/9 is bit messy in its editorial approach and is occasionally embarrassingly clumsy. But as ever with Michael Moore you have to forgive this heavy handed sermonising and just thank, whoever it is you thank , that someone is sending out the message.