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Historical Context for Opening of Controversial Documentary: Morning


Beginning today, 500 theatres across the country, including one in Springfield will show Fahrenheit 9-11. It's unusual that a documentary would open in so many theatres but this controversial political documentary has generated a lot of buzz. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with an SMS professor about the phenomenon and asked him to put it in a historical context.

FAHRENHEIT 9-11 IS THE LATEST DOCUMENTARY FROM MICHAEL MOORE, THE CREATOR OF ROGER AND ME, A SHARP CRITIQUE OF CORPORATE AMERICA AND BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, A CRITICAL LOOK AT VIOLENCE AND GUNS IN AMERICAN CULTURE.

SO, MOORE ISN'T SHY ABOUT TAKING ON CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS.

WITH FAHRENHEIT, MOORE TURNS HIS CAMERA ON THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001.

THE OPENING OF THIS FILM HAS CREATED A LOT OF INTEREST AND FOR SOME FOLKS A LOT OF DISGUST.

S-M-S ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF FILM MARK BIGGS SAYS THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME A DOCUMENTARY HAS CREATED SUCH A STIR...HE SAYS TWO POLITICAL-THEMED DOCUMENTARIES IN THE 1930'S GAINED NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION.

THOSE DOCUMENTARIES WERE SO CONTROVERSIAL, BIGGS SAYS THE GOVERNMENT CREATED A NEW PROGRAM TO COUNTER SUCH POLITICAL FILMS.

BUT BIGGS SAYS IT'S NOT JUST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARIES THAT HAVE ACHIEVED WIDESPREAD SUCCESS.

IN 1994, THE FILM "HOOP DREAMS" FOLLOWED TWO AFRICAN-AMERICAN BOYS AS THEY STRUGGLED TO BECOME PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS.

HE SAYS OTHER NON-POLITICAL DOCUMENTARIES HAVE BEEN WILDLY POPULAR.

WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE ART AND HISTORY OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING AS IT RELATES TO THE OPENING OF THE MUCH-TALKED ABOUT FILM FAHRENHEIT 9-11 THIS AFTERNOON DURING ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.