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2004-06-25

Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 Opens Across the Country, Despite GOP & Disney Attempts to Limit Its Reach

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Moore’s new film examines President Bush"s actions before and after the Sept. 11 attacks including his ties to prominent Saudis including the family of Osama bin Laden.

Michael Moore"s controversial new documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11" opens in theaters nationwide today.

  • "Fahrenheit 9/11" trailer

The film examines President Bush"s actions before and after the Sept. 11 attacks including his ties to prominent Saudis including the family of Osama bin Laden. Yesterday, it broke single-day records at screenings at two theaters in New York City.

In the months leading up to the debut of "Fahrenheit 9/11", controversy has surrounded the film. In early May, Disney barred its Miramax division from distributing the film, saying it didnt want to be "dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle."

Soon afterwards, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was awarded the prestigious Palme d"Or, the top prize at the Cannes film festival. Moore took to the stage and addressed the crowd:

  • Michael Moore, speaking at the Cannes film festival

Soon afterward, the rights to "Fahrenheit 9/11" were sold to Harvey and Bob Weinstein who chose to person ally distribute the film.

This past Tuesday, Moore and his distributors lost their appeal to lower the films rating from R to PG-13. Moore said of the R rating "It is sadly very possible that many 15- and 16-year-olds will be asked and recruited to serve in Iraq in the next couple of years. If they are old enough to be recruited and capable of being in combat and risking their lives, they certainly deserve the right to see what is going on in Iraq."

But the controversy did not end there. Just before todays nationwide debut, the defense investment firm Carlyle Group announced it had purchased a portion of Loews Cinema for $2 billion. Carlyle Group is an investment firm with close ties to the Bush administration and the Saudi royal family.

In the latest news, a conservative group has asked federal election officials to investigate whether television ads for the film violate campaign finance laws prohibiting the use of corporate money to air ads identifying a presidential candidate in the 30 days before his party’s nominating convention.

Moore called the complaint "a blatant attempt on the part of a right-wing, Republican-sponsored group to stop people from seeing my movie."

To talk about Hollywood and politics today we will be joined by actor Mike Farrell. But first we turn to Michael Moore in his own words. I spoke with him last October about his upcoming film and his book "Dude, Where’s My Country"

  • Michael Moore

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