TIFF 2018: Fahrenheit 11/9 is Crucial for Midterms

Michael Moore and Jared Kushner attend the Opening Night party for Sicko in Fahrenheit 11/9. Courtesy of TIFF.

Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 is without a doubt the most crucial documentary to be seen heading into the midterm elections.

Moore starts off the film by taking us to Election Eve 2016.  This was a different time in America.  Everybody had all but assumed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be elected president the next day.  The Donald Trump presidential campaign had a 15% chance of winning according to the polls.  Laughable, right?

The editing on this film is amazing to say the least.  Moore shows us what appears to be a very exciting Election Night party for Clinton.  The cuts to Donald Trump’s party shows us the doom and gloom.  The music underlying the scene speaks to the same effect.  All looked lost and then something started to change as Trump victories came in through the evening. When Trump goes on stage to accept the win, everybody on stage appears to be sad.

It’s soon thereafter that we get to the most pressing question of the film:  “How the fuck did this happen?”

Everyone living in a liberal bubble couldn’t believe it.  Clinton was up in just about every poll.  Of course, there were the Russians and James Comey.  It all goes back to Gwen Stefani on The Voice, apparently.  Trump’s own show, The Celebrity Apprentice, also made its home on NBC.  When he learned that somebody made more money then him, he retaliated in the strangest way possible–running for president.

On the media coverage, Moore points out that some of the people covering him were just like him.  Cut to: sexual predators and how many women spoke out.

What made me truly angry while watching the film and led me to yell “Fuck you” at the screen was the coverage of the Flint water crisis.  This crisis was caused by former Gateway chairman-turned-Michigan governor Rick Snyder.  Some people like this idea of businessmen running as outsiders for elected office but it doesn’t always work out.  Take the city of Flint.  They had a working pipeline to get fresh water from Lake Huron.  Snyder decides that the city needs a new one and turns off the working pipeline during construction.  This forced Flint to draw water from the Flint River, which Moore refers to as an “industrial sewage ditch.”

Honestly, there’s a lot to be said about Flint.  Mostly, how the Michigan governor’s office covered up what happened.  Because of Rick Snyder’s corporate greed, people died as a result of ingesting lead from the Flint water.  It’s a crime against humanity and he ought to be in jail for murder.  These deaths are on his blood.

Fahrenheit 11/9 touches on the racism in Trump’s campaign.  There’s some not-so-nice things to say about the Democratic Party.  Of the states that Bernie Sanders won, many of those states gave their votes to Clinton because of the super-delegate pledges.  One congressional candidate, Levi Tilleman, goes as far as secretly recording Rep. Steny Hoyer.  These grassroots campaigns just aren’t getting the support from the party because the DNC would rather have their picks.

There’s a focus on the Parkland shooting and the subsequent March of Our Lives.  You know the whole thing about thoughts and prayers?  The teenagers who survived the shooting wanted nothing of that shit.  They spoke up because they want to see actual action take place for gun control.

It’s not a surprise to see Moore go for the comparisons to Nazi Germany.  If we look at what’s happening now, we can see the similarities from what’s happening then.  It’s enough that the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, Ben Ferencz, subject of the documentary, Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, discusses the similarities.

Fahrenheit 11/9 is so important to watch and should be considered as required viewing for every voter and non-voter in America heading into the midterms.


Fahrenheit 11/9 held its world premiere as the Opening Night selection of TIFF Docs at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.  Briarcliff Entertainment will release the film on September 21, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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