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My wife and I saw it last night. We both thought Michael did an amazing and great thing: He went back to his roots in tragic, destitute Flint, Michigan to find Lila, whom he weaved through the fabric of his movie like a human thread. The scene where she sits beside her husband discussing the wasted death of her son in Iraq who went there because she could not afford his college education was powerful and moving. But the thrust went beyond this tragedy for Lila and all Lilas and for Michael, too. It went back to the frustration and anger that produced Roger and Me.
It went back to the source of what prompted Michael in the first place, his father's loss of a job at GM and what GM did to Flint. And it ended on a soaring anti-capitalist note, where Michael himself took off about the "two parties" of government who acted the same way for the same interests that were not the interests of the people.
My own feeling is that Michael is at his best this simple, non-ballyhoo, non-publicity stunt way. Non pop. Non Clark. Non Dem Party.
He contrasted the Bush cabal with their primping phoniness (a disgusting Wolfowitz licking his comb to slick his hair) with real people.
Where Michael has been weakest for me is when he goes on the attack against Bush as if getting rid of Bush is the solution. Looking back, we got rid of Nixon and Bush, Sr. This delivered a non-solution in the form of something worse. I think Michael is a great moviemaker and he should do it more, and with greater quietness.
He may be on that road now. There was much less of him in this movie than in former ones.
The big turnout for Michael's movie shows us that we activists are far from alone vs. the wars promoted in Washington. Washington and the press lie about suppressed feelings among the masses of our citizens who vote in theatres when they attend movies like Fahrenheit. I believe at least 15 million are predicted.
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