Documentaries as Agents of Social Change: "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The Falling Man" Film Review by Julian

An exploration of the production, the likely desired effect and the social impact of two documentaries: Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" (2004) and Henry Singer's "The Falling Man" (2006).
# 151860 | 1,830 words | 8 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Oct 18, 2012 in Film (Documentary) , Political Science (General)

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This paper examines the documentaries Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" (2004) and Henry Singer's "The Falling Man" (2006) and argues that the most plausible outcome of most documentary screenings - even those brilliantly executed - is simply a strengthening of the audience's previous opinions. The paper concludes that between Moore's direct, rational, big-budget, traditional approach to the events of 9/11 and Singer's personal, subtle, complex analysis of that day's reverberations in the American psyche, it is Singer's movie that will likely prove more lasting - though in terms of social effects, one can hardly expect much from either one.

From the Paper:

"Michael Moore was one of the most controversial American filmmakers even before releasing "Fahrenheit 9/11" (Kellner, 2010). His opinions on capitalism, America's place in the world, globalization, the health care system, gun ownership, US politics and many other issues are vastly different from the opinions of at least US Republicans. He first became famous for a documentary on globalization, specifically on how General Motors de-localized its production from Michigan to Mexico ("Roger & Me", 1989). Moore also paid attention to the US gun culture in his hugely successful "Bowling for Columbine" 2002 documentary (while likely alienating every NRA member and US conservative in the process). However, even by the standards of such a daring director, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was a huge gamble: attempting to influence US politics at the top - presidential elections - through unprecedented accusations. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Faulkner, Joanne. (2008). The Innocence of Victimhood Versus the "Innocence of Becoming" ". The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 35: 67-85.
  • Jacquet, L. (Director). (2005) March of the penguins. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
  • Junod, Tom. "The Falling Man." Esquire Sept. 2003: 177-81; 198-99.
  • Kellner, D. (2010). Cinema wars: Hollywood film and politics in the Bush-Cheney era. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Miller, Jonathan. 2005. "March of the Conservatives: Penguin Film as Political Fodder." New York Times, September 13.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Documentaries as Agents of Social Change: "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The Falling Man" (2012, October 18) Retrieved March 02, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Documentaries as Agents of Social Change: "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The Falling Man"" 18 October 2012. Web. 02 March. 2024. <>