Monday, June 28, 2004
I saw it tonight, and was, honestly, astonished. It was extremely moving, actually done with a relatively even hand, and awfully effective. One thing Moore does is tell the stories of mothers and fathers who have kids serving and dying in Iraq. Personally, it was amazing to geth the humanity behind it, to make things more than two-dimensional news stories, and politically opportune rallying cries. Those 600 or so American dead means a lot more to me than it did before, and for that alone the film was invaluable to me. I found myself upset for the mothers, and upset with myself for my lack of compassion, for the insensitivity in using death statistics as an attack on Bush and the people around him, and not as a recognition of the pain and grief and love of everday people, of everyone who has something at stake in this horrendous adventure. I felt a shame that went beyond a righteous attack on Bush, that talisman of everything evil; I shared in the shame I cast on him, because we're all responsible, in one way or another.
It was also a greatest hits of conspiracy theorists like myself's favorite graft factoids on Bush. But that was not what got to me. It was the images of Iraqi families, in happiness and pain, the interviews with baby-faced American troops sent over to kill other baby faces, the charred bodies of American contractors, the kids in Flint, Michigan, hounded by Marine recruiters; the stuff we don't get to see or hear or talk about. The bones and hair underneath Shock and Awe, and the dead eyes driving the tanks.
Anyone could have made this movie. But thank goodness Michael Moore did, and I hope millions more Americans will agree with one soldier who wrote that we should get that foolish man Bush the hell out of Washington.
Though then, the real work would most likely begin.