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Michael Moore   ('Fahrenheit 9/11') Michael Moore ('Fahrenheit 9/11')
'Hot, Hot, Hot'

Michael Moore is not a man you would want as an enemy. Having already attacked George W Bush during his Oscar acceptance speech for 'Bowling For Columbine', the heavyweight activist/filmmaker has now launched his most incendiary broadside against the Bush administration: 'Fahrenheit 9/11'.

Too hot for Mel Gibson's Icon to make or Disney to distribute, this year's Palme d'Or winner relentlessly attacks the US President for his alleged incompetence, hypocrisy, and greed - and for taking America into an immoral war for fictitious reasons.

What gave you the desire to make this film? "Well, I'm an American, I live in America, I love my country, and I feel very bad about what has happened to it for the last four years and what's been done in our name around the world."

And why this subject matter? "My wife and I had been stranded in LA on September 11th, and our daughter was back in New York. We couldn't find her for four or five hours, and then we drove home 3,000 miles. Six weeks later I read in the New Yorker that 24 members of the Bin Laden family were living in the US at the time, and the White House approved flights to fly around the country and pick them up, then a few days later allowed them to fly out the country."

"It p***** me off! I had to drive 3,000 miles and the Bin Ladens had a private chartered jet! So I started digging into this a little more. They offered the $25 million reward for Osama, and we were having a hard time funding this film, so I decided to try and find him, then we could fund five films!"

This documentary seems linked to 'Bowling For Columbine' by the theme of fear and fear-mongering. Was that deliberate? "Yes, in that film I talked about the culture of fear and the manifestation of it on a personal level. In 'Fahrenheit 9/11' I wanted to deal with the mass fear and the mass hysteria that those in power often try to create, in part to distract the population from the real issues that we need to be dealing with, and in part to see that their agenda is enacted. There is no way that the Bush administration could have had the Iraq war unless they first tried to scare the American people into believing that Saddam Hussein had something to do with September 11."

"In this film I wanted to show Americans how they're manipulated with all of this fear, with these Orange alerts, and this thinking that we could be killed and attacked at any time. This is the essence of what Orwell was saying in 1984: that the leaders needed to have the people in a constant state of fear. Because if you could convince them that the enemy was everywhere, anywhere, and could attack at any time, the people would willingly give up their freedoms in order to be protected. And that is what they have been attempting to do for the last two and a half years."

Tony Blair gets off lightly in the film. Why? "I am American and I am primarily trying to fix the problem, and the problem is with the White House, not with No.10 Downing Street. Although I have to say, the thing that has always depressed me about Tony Blair is that he knows better. What's he doing hanging out with a guy like George W Bush? I know he missed his old buddy Bill Clinton but to settle for this is embarrassing."

What do you say to people who call you unpatriotic? "I am the most patriotic American. I'm the person who loves his country, and believes in the actual real principles of this country. Anybody who says [I'm unpatriotic], they're the true un-Americans, because only people who are un-American will cover up what has been going on in Iraq with this torture and abuse. What worse lie is there than to take the country to war based on a lie? To send young kids off to die for a lie, for oil, for the relationships that the Bush family has with the Bin Ladens? I've never seen anything like this in my lifetime."

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