Bill Monroe of Columbia stood in line at the Forum 8 movie theater Friday evening shielding his eyes from the sun with a clipboard that included the words “register to vote.” Monroe was waiting to see Michael Moore’s new controversial film “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Moore’s film, which initially had trouble finding a distributor in the United States, looks at President Bush’s administration and its reaction to the terrorist events of Sept. 11 and the move toward war with Iraq. It also looks at business connections between the Saudi royal family and the Bush family.
Monroe said he wanted to see the film on its opening night because there has been a lot of buzz around it, and he said he believes it can transform America.
“I think this film could lead to Bush being ousted,” Monroe said of the November election.
He said the film reinforced his opinions “that Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al Qaeda, has everything to do with oil.”
“Moore has stepped out and let Bush and Cheney speak for themselves,” Monroe said.
Rachel Wright, a volunteer for MoveOn.org from Columbia who saw the film Friday afternoon, described it as being very patriotic, horribly disturbing and very emotional — she said she could not stop crying during the film.
Wright said she hopes the film will help people to better understand the lack of reasons for the war.
Alyce Turner of Columbia saw the movie Friday night with friends. She said she hopes the film has a large impact on the country.
“This is the true story behind this war and 9/11,” Turner said.
Monroe said he hopes the film will spark conversation among young people, especially those who don’t yet have set opinions about things.
MoveOn.org, an organization that works to get people involved in politics, is using the film to encourage discussion. On Monday night there will be house parties across the country, including one in Columbia and another in Harrisburg, to discuss the film and get people involved in what is being described as a large, nation-wide town meeting with Michael Moore by MoveOn.org. The main event will be an interactive Internet conference with Michael Moore.
“This is the first time people are actually using a film to get organized,” Turner said. MoveOn.org has invited people to get organized and use the movie as a rallying-point against President Bush.
Missourian reporter Allison Sebolt contributed to this report.