directed by Michael Moore
by Walter Chaw There's a moment that stands out in my mind about Fahrenheit 9/11, which tied with The Passion of the Christ as my pick for the worst film of 2004 (one for the left, one for the right): it's the moment when Michael Moore, in the middle of a riff about the "coalition of the willing" backing the United States into Iraq, descends through archival footage and rinky music to mock the countries that were actually our allies. The point being that America pretty much took matters into their own hands while breaking international law and flaunting its power over a largely impotent United Nations--and the effect being that Moore is a complete fucking asshole so concentrated on making a narrow, obvious point that he handily proves the widespread perception of Americans as xenophobic, arrogant, ignorant, and loudmouthed. Going after the Bush administration is enough like shooting fish in a barrel that most of Bush's own party has turned against him (not helping, probably, is that a majority of soldiers losing their lives in Iraq come from economically-disadvantaged families). Likewise, going after lax gun-control laws and a society of fear following the Columbine High School shootings; likewise corporate superciliousness in the rise and fall of industry in industrial America. I think, in other words, that Moore has made a living shooting fish in barrels, and that his latest target in Sicko, the United States' inhuman health care industry (and its lobbyists--four per congressman!, Moore informs), is just another one of those arguments no one is taking the other side on.