Monday, August 02, 2004

¡Caramba! …And How Well Would Fahrenheit 9/11 Fare in… Iraq?

The success of Michael Moore's latest movie keeps growing worldwide, most lately in Cuba, Libération is happy to tell us, where the government has been generous enough not only to allocate it no fewer than 120 movie houses throughout the island, but also to have Fahrenheit 9/11 transferred to DVD and have the movie shown on prime time by state television. Shouldn't we all be eternally grateful to Fidel Castro for being so generous as to have his island be open to works that are critical of (U.S.) government policy?

No doubts about it. Havana's humanistic government is incredibly generous. In the meantime, French newspapers quote Cuban voices that say that the film will hopefully convince Americans as to the evils of the Bush government and how it represents a menace to the entire world.

Of course, while Cuban officials, publications, and (therefore) citizens are busy ridiculing, shaking their heads at, and castigating America's government, they let their own government members off the hook. That is not dissimilar to what is happening in France, some cynical person might say, or in Germany or other countries around the globe.

As it happens, some dissidents expressed their regret that a similar movie over Fidel Castro could not (never) be shown (let alone filmed) in Cuba, but Libération scarcely printed anything concerning that piece of (non-)juicy info but a bland one-sentence line (no lively quotes, here). Let's not go too far into that, shall we, when Fidel Castro just happens to share the general point of view, that the Bush adminstration is the world's number one menace. Something that the island's citizens seem to echo. Of course, when you get a one-line mantra on the subject (and all others) all the time — one that is pleasantly self-serving — there is hardly much incentive for le citoyen individuel to seek out, let alone adopt, a different way of thinking and seeing. (N'est-ce pas, Messieurs et Mesdames les Français?)

In the meantime, while everybody makes a big fuss about how well the movie is doing worldwide, not least in the United States iself, I sit here wondering how well the movie would be doing when (and if) shown in Baghdad. But as far as I know, there are no plans to show the film in Iraq. I suppose Moore and company will shout about conspiracies and propaganda. As for myself, I wonder whether it doesn't have to do with his display of daily life under Saddam Hussein as a near-bucolic paradise

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