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film review

Michael Moore in Farenheit 11/9.1996-98 AccuSoft Inc., All right/Courtesy of LevelFilms

  • Fahrenheit 11/9
  • Directed by Michael Moore
  • Classification 14A 
  • 110 minutes

Rating:

3 out of 4 stars

“How the F did this happen?” asks Michael Moore (though he uses the actual expletive) in the opening moments of his incendiary new doc, as footage of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory plays underneath.

But though he spends some time on the lead-up to that moment (which occurred, as the title implies, in the early hours of 11/9/2016), he’s more interested in where America goes from here. Or, rather, he wants to incite regular Americans – especially the 100-million who don’t regularly vote – to turn out en masse for the midterm elections in November and begin to take back their country from someone Moore believes has Hitleresque aspirations.

And so he throws everything against the wall: cable news’s collusion in electing Trump, the Flint water crisis, teacher strikes, duplicitous Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and, yes, Barack Obama), the activist-survivors of the high-school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and even a cautionary tale of pre-Second World War Germany.

It doesn’t all hang together, but its furious, ramshackle energy does the job, and maybe that’s all that matters: Outrage, after all, aims to spur action, not land four-star movie reviews.

Fahrenheit 11/9 opens Sept. 21