[lit-ideas] Michael Moore at Cannes: Palme d'Or Best Film

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 22 May 2004 14:18:11 -0700

CANNES, France (Reuters) - U.S. director Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11,"
a savage indictment of President George W. Bush's handling of Iraq and the
war on terror, has won the top award at the Cannes film festival.

"I have this great hope that things are going to change," said Moore on
Saturday after tearing into Bush with his emotion-charged documentary in the
run-up to November's presidential election.

The Oscar-winning director, overwhelmed by the standing ovation given to his
Palme d'Or best film award, said: "I want to make sure if I do nothing else
for this year that those who have died in Iraq have not died in vain." Moore
was the big winner on a night otherwise dominated by Asian films, which took
three top prizes to show they are now a major force in world cinema. Moore's
diatribe focuses on how America and the White House reacted to the September
11, 2001, hijacking attacks and traces links between the Bush family and
prominent Saudis, including the family of Osama bin Laden.

It then switches to the war in Iraq, with graphic footage of Iraqi wounded
and prisoners being abused by American troops.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" had already whipped up an international media storm after
the Walt Disney Co barred its Miramax film unit from releasing such a
politically polarising work in a U.S. election year. Miramax is negotiating
to buy back distribution rights from Disney in the hope of releasing the
film in the U.S. in July. Two years ago, the director's anti-gun lobby
documentary "Bowling for Columbine" won a special prize at Cannes and went
on to gross $120 million (67 million pounds) worldwide and win him an Oscar.
Thanking the jury headed by cult director Quentin Tarantino, Moore said:
"You will ensure that the American people will see this movie." Moore's win
capped a politically charged festival, with documentaries and films
reflecting troubled times and French showbusiness workers staging
demonstrations and sit-ins to protest against cuts in their welfare

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