“Fahrenheit 11/9”: Are You Angry? Because You Should Be

Michael Moore’s Documentary About Trump’s America Is Insightful and Infuriating


Vera Targoff

Women protesting last January in Cambridge for equal rights.

Maeve Reilly, Contributing Writer

Falcon Rating: 5/5


November 9th, 2016: The day the world learned Donald Trump was the president-elect of the United States of America. In the title of his new documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore alludes not only to the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, but also to his 2004 post-9/11 documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. This time, Moore set out to track the election of Trump, the unfolding of the Flint Water Crisis, and various other political movements unfolding across the United States in 2018. In an interview with Vulture, Moore states: “As a filmmaker, I’m making this with a sense of urgency; I’m making it as if I may not be able to make another one of these. And that’s not paranoia—history has shown us that otherwise liberal democracies can turn, and they can turn quickly.”

Fahrenheit 11/9 is not a documentary you would watch in history class. It is satirical, provocative, and mercilessly exposes people and organizations on both sides of the political aisle. There is room in the American canon for serious New York Times articles and NPR radio programs, but there is also room—in fact, a need—for someone to pause and just say, as Moore does: “How the [expletive] did this happen?” Fahrenheit 11/9 is a bombardment of different stories in the best way possible. The point is to actually see families without access to clean drinking water, to see hate-filled Americans, to see the utter disrespect of our democracy by our political parties. The point is to make you angry. But not a directionless anger—the urgency of action was palpable in the theater. Moore did not set out to create a total downer for the American public. It is meant to kick you out of your seat, into the streets to rally, and into the voting booth as a well-informed citizen. That is the power of good filmmaking; sending out ripples of empowerment to the people and guiding it in a productive direction, a power Moore has skillfully employed in this film and throughout his career.  

Due to the disenfranchisement of people with a felony record and the widespread strategic voter suppression, if you can vote, you must. And if you’d rather watch one film over reading a million articles to have a grasp on what is going on in this country, watch Fahrenheit 11/9. Moore skillfully layers critical facts on top of entertaining visuals, and interweaves compelling interviews of experts, civilians, activists, and young progressive politicians who are not only rocking the boat, but rocking the vote. No justice can be reached for unknown injustices, especially by a public body that does not care. To combat this, Moore shakes his audience awake, fuels it with passion, and points it in the direction of a better future. You don’t want to miss this film, for it will be a historical resource for decades to come.


This piece also appears in our October 2018 edition.