I haven’t really done much commentary on this film, at least not on the website. I downloaded the DVD a while back, but I never actually burned it or watched it. I just haven’t had the time. I have read selected transcripts, however, and I have read a lot of commentary, both positive and negative.
Recently (last month), Fahrenheit 9/11 was shown on Cuban television. This was a very lightly covered news story, but it has real significance. Cuba is an enemy state, first of all, and allowing F911 to be released there is just as bad as allowing the terrorist group HAMAS to be an investor in your film.
One of the more interesting quotes from MSNBC’s article on the Cuban release was an American college student Abigail Nelson (learning Spanish this summer in Havana) noting, “Michael Moore and Fidel Castro see the world eye-to-eye.”
This Monday, Michael Moore made a lengthy entry in his blog. The subject of the post was why he would not be seeking the Oscar this year. Of course it was mostly filled with self-praise and other such stuff, but the meat of it was the following:
“The only problem with my desire to get this movie in front of as many Americans as possible is that, should it air on TV, I will NOT be eligible to submit Fahrenheit 9/11 for Academy Award consideration for Best Documentary. Academy rules forbid the airing of a documentary on television within nine months of its theatrical release (fiction films do not have the same restriction).”
“Therefore, I have decided not to submit Fahrenheit 9/11 for consideration for the Best Documentary Oscar. If there is even the remotest of chances that I can get this film seen by a few million more Americans before election day, then that is more important to me than winning another documentary Oscar. I have already won a Best Documentary statue. Having a second one would be nice, but not as nice as getting this country back in the hands of the majority.”
“The deadline to submit the film for the documentary Oscar was last Wednesday. I told my crew who worked on the film, let’s let someone else have that Oscar. We have already helped to ignite the biggest year ever for nonfiction films. Last week, 1 out of every 5 films playing in movie theaters across America was a documentary! That is simply unheard of. There have been so many great nonfiction films this year, why not step aside and share what we have with someone else? Remove the 800-pound gorilla from that Oscar category and let the five films who get nominated have all the attention they deserve (instead of the focus being on a film that has already had more than its share of attention).”
Academy Award Documentary rule V.3 clearly states: “No television or internet transmission shall occur at any time prior to, or within the six months following, the first day of the qualifying run or the festival win. Any documentary which is transmitted anywhere in the world in any version as a television or internet program within that period will automatically be disqualified from award eligibility.”
The truth of the matter is that Michael Moore had lost his eligibility on two counts way before his decision earlier this week to remove himself from the running.
The Cuban television release of his film prevents him from qualifying, but even before the film came out in theatres, he was disqualified. I wish I had sources on this but I clearly remember either iFilms or some similar outlet presenting a screening of the movie when I suppose MM thought that he wasn’t going to get wide theatrical release (shortly after Disney blocked release of the film in theatres).
This is clearly a move by Michael Moore to simply pander to his left-wing audience. Does this lend him credibility? Not really. He’s just good at being an idealogue, a figure head. Very savvy as a move, but also very transparent.