LABJ FORUM - Summer Blockbuster

In its first weekend, Michael Moore's new film "Fahrenheit 9/11" raked in $23.9 million, the highest opening weekend box office numbers for any documentary. Many expect the Bush-bashing film to influence the upcoming presidential election. So the Business Journal Asks:

Have you seen or do you plan to see "Fahrenheit 9/11"?

Renee Miller
President and Creative Director
Miller Group Advertising

I just saw it. I think (Moore) gave the audience a tremendous amount of material to think about, like the relationship between the Bush and the bin Ladin families. I didn't realize there was such a close tie. (Moore) obviously had some strong fact-checkers because a lot of this has been validated by the media. He really focused on the sad aspects of war. There was a wonderful scene with a woman whose son died in the military. She read a letter that he had written. That really touched me.



Tom Beauchamp
Chief Information Officer
Hot Topic Inc.

I have not seen it and I don't know if I'm going to. I question the accuracy and I have never been a fan of Michael Moore. I think he's a very bright individual who's using the media very effectively to get across his point of view. I'm an independent and I don't know that he's wrong, but it's one-sided. I think it would be very entertaining, but I don't know if I want to invest three hours of my time.



Mike Diener
President
Dentalpoint Inc.

Last weekend, the lines were around the block at the movie theater near my house. I'm going to go with an open mind. I haven't seen any of Michael Moore's other films. But I heard all the publicity for this one and the subject matter is important. There are real questions about Iraq. Who knows what's going to happen now that power has been handed over?



Lori Martin
Senior Account Executive
Rainmaker and Sun

It clearly is a seminal film that could affect the presidential election. I value (Moore's) perspective and his integrity as a journalist. And winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes says something. He's a credible source and he gets my endorsement before I see the first frame of the film. It's a wonderful country that can allow this type of freedom of speech, whether he's right or wrong. It makes me proud as an American. We're not perfect, but we're not afraid to look at ourselves.



Peter Mason
Partner
Fulbright & Jaworski LLP

(My family) had a great two-hour dinner table discussion about it. We talked a lot about the burden of truth whether or not what was portrayed was true, particularly when so much is based on subjective observations. Some scenes where people were caught in a candid moment were very effective. We didn't reach any conclusion. But it was a great opportunity to get the family together to talk about things of current interest and get my kids focused on these kinds of issues.



John Fosselman
Owner
Fosselman's Ice Cream Parlor

It's definitely thought provoking, so I'm considering it. I'm not rushing out to see it though. I lean more toward the conservative side. I think the Republicans do more for the small businesses. This is the first time in my life that I've considered not voting Republican, though. But I don't think that the film would sway me. Michael Moore has an agenda just as Bush does.

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