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Fahrenheit 911

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Fahrenheit 9/11 is a controversial, award-winning documentary film by American left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore which presents a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush, the War on Terrorism, and its coverage in the American news media. The film holds the record for highest box office receipts by a general release documentary.

In the film, Moore contends that American corporate media were "cheerleaders" for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and did not provide an accurate and objective analysis of the rationale for the war or the resulting casualties there. The film's harsh attack on the Bush Administration generated much controversy around the time of its release, including disputes over its accuracy.

The film debuted at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival in the documentary film category and was awarded the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), the festival's highest award

The film had a general release in the United States and Canada on June 25, 2004. It has since been released in 42 more countries. As of January 2005, the film had grossed nearly US$120 million in U.S. box office, and over US$220 million worldwide,[1] an unprecedented amount for a political documentary; Sony reported first-day DVD sales of two million copies, again a new record for the genre. [2]

Contents

[hide]

* 1 Cannes Film Festival

* 2 Distribution and pre-release

* 3 Content summary

* 4 Film release and box office

* 5 DVD release

* 6 Initial television presentations

* 7 Awards

* 8 Controversy

* 9 References

* 10 See also

* 11 External links

[edit] Cannes Film Festival

In April 2004 the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 57th Cannes Film Festival. After its first showing in Cannes in May 2004, the film reportedly received a 15-20 minute standing ovation, which Cannes artistic director Thierry Frйmaux declared "the longest standing ovation in the history of the festival".[3][4]

On May 22, 2004, the film was awarded the Palme d'Or. It was the first documentary to win that award since Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle's The Silent World in 1956. Just as his much-publicized Oscar acceptance speech, Moore's speech in Cannes included some political statements:[citation needed]

I can't begin to express my appreciation and my gratitude to the jury, the Festival, to Gilles Jacob, Frйmaux, Bob and Harvey at Miramax, to all of the crew who worked on the film. [...] I have a sneaking suspicion that what you have done here and the response from everyone at the festival, you will assure that the American people will see this film. I can't thank you enough for that. You've put a huge light on this and many people want the truth and many want to put it in the closet, just walk away. There was a great Republican president who once said, if you just give the people the truth, the Republicans, the Americans will be saved. [...] I dedicate this Palme d'Or to my daughter, to the children of Americans and to Iraq and to all those in the world who suffer from our actions.

Some conservatives in the United States, such as Jon Alvarez of FireHollywood, commented that such an award could be expected from the French.[5] Moore had remarked only days earlier that: "I fully expect the Fox News Channel and other right-wing media to portray this as an award from the French. [...] There was only one French citizen on the jury. Four out of nine were American. [...] This is not a French award, it was given by an international jury dominated by Americans."[6], The jury was made up of four North Americans, four Europeans, and one Asian.[citation needed]

He also responded to suggestions that the award was political: "Quentin [Tarantino] whispered in my ear, 'we want you to know that it was not the politics of your film that won you this award. We are not here to give a political award. Some of us have no politics. We awarded the art of cinema, that is what won you this award and we wanted you to know that as a fellow filmmaker.'" [7] In comments to the prize-winning jury in 2005, however, Cannes director Gilles Jacob said panels should make their decision based on film-making rather than politics. He expressed his opinion that though Moore's talent was not in doubt, "it was a question of a satirical tract that was awarded a prize more for political than cinematographic reasons, no matter what the jury said."[8]

[edit] Distribution and pre-release

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(tagged since August 2007)

Originally planned for distribution by Mel Gibson's Icon Productions, Fahrenheit 9/11 was later picked up by Miramax after Icon released claims to the movie in May 2003, citing image conflicts while claiming the decision to be apolitical. Miramax had earlier distributed another film for Moore, The Big One, in 1997.

In May 2004, Moore announced that Disney (the parent company of Miramax) was blocking the distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 in North America, citing a contractual clause expressly permitting it to do so in such cases as a prohibitive budget or explicit movie rating. However, Miramax executives indicated this was not the case. Disney stated that both Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, and Miramax were advised in May 2003 that Miramax would not be permitted to distribute the film. Disney representatives claim that Disney has the right to veto any Miramax film if it appears that their distribution would be counterproductive to the interests of the company.

An unnamed Disney executive said that the film was against Disney's interests not because of government business dealings, but because releasing it would risk being "dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle" and alienating customers. Emanuel stated that Disney chief executive Michael Eisner

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