a critical and commercial success, winning the top award at the 2004 Cannes film festival (CBS NEWS, 2005) and becoming the highest income-earner in the history of documentary film. (TIME Magazine, 2004) Moore’s views seem to be shared by many viewers. At Amazon.com, one viewer says “I saw this film very recently and was stunned. Shocked. Michael Moores work was thorough, concise, and extraordinary.” (Amazon.com, 2005) Not only this, but both domestic mainstream media, and international media of different regimes realized and reported its importance.
However, many analysts point out that Moore’s opinion is subjective and prejudiced. An example of this is J. Dewey’s 2004 analysis which claims that Moore’s documentary violates the truth in more than 50 instances and goes on to say: “Moore knowingly uses some information to support his view, which in context does not lend such support.” (Dewey, 2004) Moreover, Moore found it difficult to get publishing companies interested in “Fahrenheit 911” because of its controversial contents. Eventually, due to Moore’s perseverance this controversial documentary became both commercially and critically successful. The controversy of both the documentary and the events that it interprets make this a good case study to define the nature of a media event.
In this essay, first I will define the concept of the documentary and then define a media event and explain why the documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” is one. Next, I will give some background information about Michael Moore, and about the September 11 event. Following this I will examine “Fahrenheit 9/11” from the commercial, public, and media points of view. Finally I will examine critiques of the film before concluding.
Generally speaking, every film is a documentary. However, more specifically the documentary is a tangible representation of the world as seen through the eyes of the director. (Nichols, 2001:1) British film director and producer John