Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” may be popular with critics, it may have received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, it may be popular with the Hollywood elite, but theater owners are showing caution about the overtly political film.
Last month, the activist-filmmaker and his partners boasted the movie would be rolled out in more than 1,000 theaters nationwide.
Later, that number was revised to “about 1,000.” The next estimate was 750. In recent days, the guess had dropped to at least 500.
As of today, the film’s website showed that only 417 theaters would be showing the film.
The movie has come under attack by supporters of the war on terrorism who see the film as little more than anti-American, anti-military propaganda.
The organization Move America Forward has asked Americans to register their disapproval with any theaters that carry it.
“Michael Moore has made it clear that this film is nothing more than an attempt to undermine support for the war on terrorism, and movie theater operators have made it clear they wish to have no part in Moore’s anti-military propaganda,” said Howard Kaloogian, chairman of Move America Forward. “This movie is about as popular as ice in Antarctica, and movie theaters are giving Michael Moore’s ‘bash America’ flick a chilly reception.”
Move America Forward has viewed footage of the movie and reviewed transcripts from portions of the films. The group claims the movie contains several misleading and inaccurate assertions:
- Moore asserts that in the days immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks President Bush whisked Osama bin Laden’s family out of the country because of a secret alliance. Actually, the group points out, terrorism czar Richard Clarke, a strong critic of President Bush, took full responsibility for the unilateral action and said he “would do it again.”
- Moore, the group says, tried to paint congressmen who voted for the war as hypocrites because their own family members were not being sent to fight in the war on terrorism. Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., explained to Moore on camera that he has two nephews in the military, one who has just been deployed in the Army National Guard and would be headed to Afghanistan in the next month. Moore cut Kennedy’s response from the film and instead packaged the segment to suggest that Kennedy and other Members of Congress were unwilling to have their own family members serve in the war on terrorism, according to the congressman. Kennedy told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “It’s representative of the fact that Michael Moore doesn’t always give the whole story, and he’s a master of the misleading.”
- Moore says his film supports the troops, but then boasted to the London-based newspaper the Guardian that he had sneaked film crews into Iraq to document improper acts committed by soldiers. He then gushed: “Half the movie is about Iraq – we were able to get film crews embedded with American troops without them knowing it was Michael Moore. They are totally f—ed.” Last week Moore told the San Francisco Chronicle he was proud of the fact that his film showed our troops as “dazed and confused” and paralyzed with a Vietnam-like syndrome.
Moore’s film won the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival last month and is scheduled to hit theaters on June 25.