Documentary and fictional aspects of the film Fahrenheit 9/11
“In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.”(web quotes) This quote by Alfred Hitchcock contains some truth, but in past decades the documentary genre has become more than just factual information about real people and places. It has become a mode for opinion and bias. In Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, the “creative use of actuality” (film ed. Grierson) in its editing, style and source information all serve Moore’s argument and thus the directors view.
Documentaries are films that inform truth with factual evidence in contrast to narratives that employ fictional events. The conventions of this genre are what make it creditable and serious. Non scripted interviews, narration, objectivity and actual footage are some of it key tenets. With this being stated, logic would dictate that any deviation from these conventions could jeopardize the film’s documentary credibility. This is the basis of what makes Fahrenheit 9/11 controversial Critics hold that Moore’s film uses flimsy and misleading evidence. He manipulated images and words to shape a perspective and finally does not offer a balanced view to the audience. Evidence of this can be found in David Kopel’s Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11. He argues with a list of fifty nine counter facts that discredit Moore’s. An example listed in the article states that Saudis left the U.S. Only after air travel was opened for the general public contrary to what Moore says in the film. (independent). Second, the manipulation of images can be seen as a fictional representation of reality. Many of the raw video footage Moore takes from news outlets are edited with his argument in mind. Being that the Bush administration’s wrongdoing and tying it to the war in Iraq. (video) Word play is another important role in the film. Moore gives limited visual evidence for aural claims he makes in the film. Also viewers...
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