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Fahrenheit 9/11 | 2004 | R | - 4.8.5

Political documentary by Michael Moore, which examines connections between President Bush's family and the Saudi royal family, and argues that because of these connections the administration did not pursue connections between Al Qaeda and the Saudis, but instead used the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. to launch a war against Iraq. It also argues that the U.S.A. Patriot Act infringes on basic civil rights. The feature became controversial when the Disney company refused to release it, and it won the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. [1:56]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - We see a nude baby boy on a hospital table, with his genitals exposed. A corpse covered by a blanket has an erection, soldiers remark about it and one touches it.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - All the scenes are real: We see a charred dead body near a burning vehicle, a man hits the body with a stick, and the body is dragged along the street. Two charred and dismembered bodies are hung by ropes from a bridge. An unconscious baby boy lies on a hospital table with his arm nearly blown off (we see blood and tissue of the nearly separated arm). A bomb explodes near two soldiers, we hear them screaming, then see them on stretchers with bloody wounds; one screams in agony as two other soldiers open the leg of his pants to get at his wound. A man with his hands tied sits on the ground, a man with a sword raises it over the man, swings down on the back of his neck, then strikes again during a public beheading (we see the head separate from the body and watch it fall onto the ground). A man holds a dead, blood-covered baby in his arms, and places him in the back of a truck where many other dead bodies are piled. We see dead bodies in vehicles and along roadways. We see a video of hostages being held with knives to their throats. We see many wounded people in hospitals: several have facial wounds with scars and swollen features, some are missing limbs, some talk about being in constant pain from their injuries and relying on morphine to get through the day. Soldiers fire guns at enemies and are fired upon. We hear revving jet engines, loud impact and people screaming (presumably the sounds of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11/2001), we see people looking up with fear and terror, and we see people running and screaming. We hear and see missiles and bombs being launched and striking targets in Baghdad. A man talks about people jumping to their death from the World Trade Center Towers. Soldiers talk about seeing dead, decaying bodies and body parts. We see many coffins lined up in a hangar. Eggs are thrown at a presidential motorcade and people protest angrily as it passes. A mother tells us about being informed that her son had been killed and about the pain that she has to endure. People grieve over the death of their loved ones and plead for help in finding missing family members. Soldiers break into a house, women cry in fear, and a man is handcuffed and put on the floor face down while they are questioned. Soldiers blindfold hostages and put bags over their heads. Several people present petitions protesting the outcome of a presidential election, with angry comments about not being able to get senators to sign them. A man puts his comb in his mouth then drags it through his hair, then puts saliva on his fingers and smoothes it on his hair. We see bombed out buildings in Africa and a ship after being hit by a boat carrying a bomb. A woman talks about being forced to drink her own breast milk by airport security.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 4 F-word derivatives, 3 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown smoking cigarettes, cigars and drinking alcohol.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Terrorism, 9/11, Saudi Arabia, Islam, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, the Bush family, President George W. Bush, politics, war, greed, voter fraud, corruption, ignorance, official misconduct, budget cutbacks, urban warfare, Homeland Security, disenfranchisement of minorities, atheism, religion, arrogance, elitism, military desertion, business failures, military cutbacks, forfeiting constitutional liberties, The Patriot Act, disillusionment, immoral behavior, dictatorships, democracy, foreign investment in the U.S., abuse of power, ethical conflicts, withholding information.

MESSAGE - President George W. Bush is intellectually and ethically vacuous. The Bush family is financially intertwined with Saudi interests. Immoral behavior breeds immoral behavior.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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