[Marxism] Robert Jensen attack on Fahrenheit 9/11

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Jul 5 10:59:19 MDT 2004

On Mon, 05 Jul 2004 12:10:00 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:
> Jim Farmelant wrote:
> > I suspect that if Moore had made the sort of film that would
> > have pleased Jensen then nobody outside of Moore's
> > immediate family would have rushed out to see it.
> I post these critiques not because I agree with them, 

I understand that.

> but because I 
> am 
> trying to stimulate conversation here and also to come to terms with 
> long-standing critiques of Moore from the left. You'll recall that 
> this 
> is not the first time that he has been lambasted. 

Sure, and some of which I would even agree with.

> In the past he was 
> attacked for making workers look foolish, like the woman selling 
> rabbits 
> for meat in "Roger and Me". These are not simple questions. I myself 
> frankly wonder if a truly radical film could ever achieve the kind 
> of 
> breakthrough of Moore's documentary. 

Probably not at this time.  But exposure to films like Moore's
"Farenheit 9/11" may well help to create an audience for
films that are more radical in substance.

> There is little doubt in my 
> mind 
> that Peter David, John Pilger and Barbara Kopple have made superior 
> documentaries politically but they will never get the exposure of 
> Michael Moore. 

No, while they have undoubtedly made worthwhile films,
I don't think anyone here would expect them to attract the
sort of mass audiences that Moore's film has drawn.
However, Moore's success may help to create a space in
which more radical filmmakers may be able to make their
own way.

> If the film does nothing else except make it more 
> difficult for the families of soldiers and the soldiers themselves 
> to 
> back a continuing occupation, then it will be one of the most 
> *radical* 
> films of the past 50 years--leaving aside the merits of the 
> ideology.

And if it does then all the carping that Moore has been getting
from the left, like the carping that he's been attracting from
the right and center, will soon seem to be little more than
the natterings of folk who are out of touch with the American
people.  Moore's film will then be remembered for a good many
years to come while these people's criticisms will soon
be forgotten.

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