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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
July release in UK for Moore film
Michael Moore with his Palme d'Or for Fahrenheit 9/11
Michael Moore's film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year
US director Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 will get its UK release on 9 July, distributors have announced.

The controversial movie about the Iraq war will get one of the biggest-ever releases in the UK for a documentary.

It alleges connections between President George W Bush and top Saudi families, including the Bin Ladens.

The movie won the Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the first documentary to win it since Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World in 1956.

The film will open with 100 prints in the UK and Ireland, according to a spokeswoman.

"It's going to do really well," she said.

Moore's previous documentary Bowling for Columbine, about US gun law, opened in the UK with 28 prints.

It made more than 263,000 in the UK in its first week, and had taken 507,000 by its second week.

Celebrity screening

Fahrenheit 9/11has attracted huge interest since its Cannes launch. It is due to open on more than 1,000 US screens on 25 June.

At a Los Angeles screening last week, celebrities including Viggo Mortensen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jodie Foster and Demi Moore saw the film.

It was the subject of a lengthy battle by its original backers, Harvey and Bob Weinstein of studio Miramax, to release it.

Michael Moore in Cannes
The film opens on 1,000 screens in the US

Miramax's owners Disney refused to allow them to release the film because they judged the film to be too politically contentious.

The film includes graphic footage of corpses of US soldiers being burnt, dragged behind a truck and strung up, and a scene of US soldiers apparently mistreating Iraqi prisoners, as well as criticising US foreign policy.

Earlier this week, Moore posted a message on his website denying he was going to make a similarly critical film on the conduct of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He said he had made a joke in an interview that Mr Blair was more responsible for the war in Iraq than Mr Bush, but that it had been misinterpreted.

The BBC's Tom Brook
"Moore uses every opportunity to bash Bush and his administration"


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