[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Was Moore's prize a political decision?
Michael Moore holds his Palme d'Or prize at Cannes
Michael Moore's new documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 has won the top Cannes prize, the Palme d'Or

The controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11 alleges links between US President George Bush and top Saudi families including the Bin Ladens.

Cannes jury head Quentin Tarantino said that the overt political themes did not influence the jury and the film won on merit alone.

Do you think Fahrenheit 9/11 won the Palme d'Or by its own merits? Do you think Michael Moore's political agenda affected the jury?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far.

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by: Ed Karten from the UK:
What do you think of the Fahrenheit 9/11 having been awarded the Palm D'Or?

Of course the prize was a political move. In front of a French audience and a French jury, the extreme liberal Michael Moore creates a movie bashing Bush and denouncing the American foreign policy. The bias is clear, the reason is purely political.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA

Keep socking it to em Mike!
Kate Rodgers, West Midlands, UK
I can't answer the question, but one thing I do know is that Warner Bros initial quibble over the release of this film has guaranteed it will be a great hit. I am pleased for Michael Moore and I am a big fan of his work. Keep socking it to em Mike!
Kate Rodgers, West Midlands, UK

Michael Moore's documentaries have been shown time and time again to manipulate chronologies, present utter untruths, and intentionally humiliate unwitting subjects. His unethical cinematic methods should be severely censured by the film community. A common political agenda is the only explanation I can muster for his being embraced by the so-called film "elite".
Lawrence, San Francisco

First Lord of the Rings wins the Oscar, now Michael Moore wins the Palm D'or. This is the year of the fantasy genre.
Al, Canada

I don't think any major American company will distribute this film, and certainly not before the election. Nobody running a large business or even a theatre is so stupid as to risk alienating about half the population.
Mark, USA

He utilises the main art form of today to address compelling social issues
Dawn, Albuquerque, USA
Art is a reflection of society, one of its role is to enlighten and expound on current themes of the time in which it is created. These are political times. I applaud Moore and his courage at utilising the main art form of today to address compelling social issues.
Dawn, Albuquerque, USA

I will have to see the film before I can judge whether the decision was political. The right-wingers who attack this film (before even seeing it) forget that the US was founded on the principles of free speech and the ability to question authority. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Mr Moore's views, it will be a sad day for democracy if his film is denied distribution in the US.
Michael C, USA

Who cares what he won and why?! I don't develop my political viewpoints from watching movies - no matter who makes them.
SkS, Texas, USA

This isn't a movie, it's a long commercial
Michael, Chicago, USA
All this guy cares about is influencing the election. This isn't a movie, it's a long commercial. The people in Cannes who made that decision are idiots.
Michael, Chicago, USA

I like a good discussion but Moore's movies are just stones that break windows. They pretend they discover the core of the problem but all they do is exploit a few points and many times laugh at human faults and limitations (see Bowling for Columbine).There is no solution or true in depth analysis.
Paul, Philadelphia, USA

I believe that Moore's documentary was a great success. It exposes President Bush and corporate America for what it really is. The critics of the film only try to discredit Mr Moore, not criticize his work.
Joe Schaffer, Celina, OH, USA

I do not think so, it is people's nature to get to the bottom of current issue and that makes this documentary most popular.
Umar, TX, USA

If you truly believe in free speech and open political discourse, you have to admire him
Robert Catalano, Salem

Sure, the decision was political but it also had a lot to do with Moore himself. How can you not like Michael Moore? He is passionate, has a sense of humour which is often aimed at himself, and he is willing to put his reputation on the line for what he believes. You may not agree with him, but if you truly believe in free speech and open political discourse, you have to admire him.
Robert Catalano, Salem, USA

The decision may well have been political, but we're all political and this is the most public way the people on that panel could flag up their opposition to the illegal and badly handled invasion of Iraq. Good on them!
Ros, Sheffield, UK

Why is it that someone like Moore is considered a left-wing "radical", who invents stories and tells lies, only by those who are content to listen to the lies "regular" media has fed us ever since Bush came into power (and before that too)? And why do these same people react with such vehemence? If indeed everything he says is lies, why the indignant discussions?
Lisa, Brussels, Belgium

The judgement has been made under the influence of everything that is going on in our world right now. It's impossible to please everyone, so long live freedom of speech, expression and free will.
Maire, Ireland

Michael Moore is the Fox News of the left. Nobody intelligent and moderate ought pay any attention to either of these groups of fools.
Alex C, Brisbane Australia

I wonder if the film would have been given the Palme d'Or had Disney not been coerced into pulling the plug on its distribution? And a note to all of the defensive American readers and contributors on this board. Please do not mistake European anti American sentiment for anti Bushism, there is a real difference. I am far from being anti American, I married one of you. I am, however, vehemently opposed to George Bush and his policies and I will be hoping that the polling booths do not have "complicated" instructions in them during this election.
DW, UK

You can bet me it is pure political. It all started with free marketing when Miramax refuses to market the film, giving Moore's movie much wait that people began to wonder what kind of movie is so controversial. Moore, you did your marketing very well
Opara Victor, Nigerian in Estonia

This film is an attack on the takeover of our society by big business
AA, UK (ex US)
People who dismiss Moore as "radically left wing" are mistaken. He's certainly no friend of the Democrats and was as happy to criticise Clinton as he is Bush. This film is not a party political broadcast - it's an attack on the takeover of our society by big business. Moore seeks to open the eyes of his fellow American citizens and get them to recognise the fact that corruption exists in their government (as it does in virtually all governments!) and that it's essential to challenge those in power if we want to live in a truly democratic society.
AA, UK (ex US)

Why is it so much easier to point out the supposed political agenda of a leftist/liberal, when these days everyone has a political agenda? The current administration in the US is embarrassingly rich with privately motivated agendas. Michael Moore makes a much more believable attempt to find the truth, and part of his search aims to shine light on the totally bogus journalism and thoroughly biased reporting of the American news companies which are financially committed to the same private agenda as the current administration - not a good recipe for the truth.
Liam Dafyd, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA

I am not surprised that the French have awarded the top film prize to the anti-Bush and anti-USA government flick. I think that the artistic merits of this made up film have taken a back seat to the active anti-American discontent
Yan Gindin, New York, USA

I know that Michael Moore's anti-American message plays well in Europe as well as amongst the far left in America but it can had the effect of tipping those who are undecided to the Republican side. If the film is anything like BFC it will contain doctored interviews, questionable sources and blatant lies about America, and like BFC in 2002 it will help the Republican party hold on to power in November.
Colin Keesee, Moorpark, CA, USA

Everybody, regardless of their views needs to see this film
Jennifer Myers, New York City, US

I am glad he won and is being recognized not only for his passion for filmmaking, but his passion for politics. In my view, Bush will never tell us the truth, so we need more people like M. Moore. Everybody, regardless of their views needs to see this film.
Jennifer Myers, New York City, US

We are all political animals, only the degree of involvement differs. I think the jury couldn't have arrived at any other decision other than give him the prize. The film is very worthwhile.
Tajudeen Bakre, Lagos, Nigeria.

Congratulations to Michael Moore. It's only a shame that there aren't more like him. If it was a political decision to give him and his film the award then they are the political decisions I can live with. If only two other certain individuals could make such positive political decisions.
Nick, St. Ives

Many uninformed people in the US have said Mr Moore's new film only won because the festival was hosted in France. Let me remind these people that there were 4 Americans on the panel, and only one French panellist.
Douglas, Manchester, UK

I have never understood the rabid hostility of the American right to Moore's views. If he is wrong, then why do they take him seriously?
Alex Mangan, Swindon, Wiltshire

Oh my goodness!!! Michael Moore has discovered a connection between multi-billionaire globalist oil men. Doesn't he deserve the Sherlock Holmes investigation award? When is the world going to stop being duped by politicians (government), film makers (media) and money lenders (industrialists), who claim to be looking out for the downtrodden, but are only looking out for themselves?
Mike, Los Angeles, Ca, USA

Does it really matter whether it was? It is one of the few ways in which thinking men and women can make a political statement in this century or so it seems.
P.R. Koduri, Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA

I find it fascinating that certain people are dismissing this film as lacking in evidence. Considering it's not yet been distributed, how ever could they know? Dare I conclude that this reaction is automatic?
Dan, Seattle, USA

I think that it's fantastic that Moore won the Palme d'Or. Compared with the vast majority of right-wing US media, Moore is a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to see the documentary.
Louise, UK

Michael Moore is one of few Americans who have had the courage to tell the truth as it is. I think he deserves any award he gets simply for uncovering the truth behind the US government whose policies have inflamed violence and the risk of terrorism. Of course political views affected the result, the film is not a source of entertainment, it is politically motivated and this is the basis on which it should be awarded a prize.
Khaled Arikat, London

Everyone knows what side of the political spectrum he shouts from
Sean, USA
Although I enjoyed all of Moore's works, everyone knows what side of the political spectrum he shouts from. The movie won't make anyone think, because the only ones who will go and actually watch it will be the choir he's been preaching to all these years. I respect Michael Moore for his beliefs, even if they are a little simplified, but he will never have a large enough audience to influence an election if the only people he writes for is the extreme left of American politics.
Sean, USA

Let's see if M. Moore does anything even remotely like this to any other US President other than Bush. Moore has an agenda, and the media is very biased. A political award? Blatantly!
Tony, Houston, USA

Clearly a political decision. But a good one. Let's be honest, doesn't this man deserves to win, at least for his courage and boldness? Who else would expose the greatest con to be seated in the Oval Room?
Sofia, Lisbon, Portugal

Award ceremonies have no bearing whatsoever on what I will or will not see in the cinema because it is no longer about the quality of the film itself. I had not intended on seeing this film and still do not intend to.
Stephen Ash, Cardiff

How can anyone decide whether it is a political decision or not before seeing the film?
Chris Q, Bradford England

Michael Moore has to be taken with a grain of salt, but some of the things he uncovers simply cannot be denied and must be shown
Andreas Gschwari, London, UK
The Oscars are political, Cannes is political - there is no surprise there. I think this decision does reflect the European view of Mr. Bush though. It gave the film the European stamp of approval and will ensure that it will be seen in the States. Michael Moore has to be taken with a grain of salt, but some of the things he uncovers simply cannot be denied and must be shown.
Andreas Gschwari, London, UK

If it's as inaccurate and misleading as Bowling for Columbine then it shouldn't have even been considered for an award. Still, Fantasy films are quite popular.
Paul Weaver, London, UK

Funny how anyone that doesn't agree with Bush and is in a position to say something about it get brushed under the carpet as "haters" by the neocon supporters.
Anon, UK

Was it? I wouldn't know. I never saw the movie. Yet. Have the people that submitted opinions here seen the movie, or are they just bashing Moore? In order for people to come to a conclusion, shouldn't the movie be available for public viewing first?
Jin, Austin, US

Oh how wonderful it is to be numb. No feeling, no thoughts, just mindless entertainment. Anything, anywhere, with any message of any sort must be an outrage. How dare people try to have an opinion! Freedom is everyone being quiet and listening to leaders.
Joseph Wojciechowski, New York, USA

I haven't seen the film, so I'm not in a position to judge its artistic merit
Mark Horner, Northumberland
I haven't seen the film, so I'm not in a position to judge its artistic merit. What more concerns me is the apparent blocking of its distribution. The censorship of reasonable political comment should play no part in a democratic society.
Mark Horner, Northumberland

Michael Moore should be likened to the Muckrakers during the time of Dickens. He is very brave. The jury is to be commended for fair judgement.
Joy Thornton Hale-Graham, Baton Rouge, US

Let's see...A radical left-wing movie maker in the south of France in the midst of the liberal entertainment industry wins the Palme d'Or. Who else could have won?
Jack, Oceanside, USA

Here's an idea, why don't we show the film instead of restricting its distribution and let the audience decide. Michael More has previously produced brilliant films, I am certain this film will be no different.
Aziz, Canada

Unfortunately, the Americans who pre-emptively dismiss this film will never watch it, thus, never see the side of the story that their media doesn't report. The Bush Administration is everything Mr. Moore claims they are; only those who pay attention have figured that out.
David Fuccillo, NYC, USA

Nobody else is making this kind of movie - he alone has reinvented the political documentary. I see real merit in his work and think he should have won. The political winds are blowing against Moore - If his product wasn't a lot better he would have lost.
Dean, Burnsville, MN, USA

I just wish there was someone as smart and interesting making the same waves over this side of the pond
Joanne Pope, Plymouth.UK
Although America constantly go on about freedom of speech and how liberated they are, Michael Moore is perfect example of how free speech actually is in the U.S. I was enthralled in Bowling for Columbine and cannot wait to watch this new documentary, keep up the good work Michael I just wish there was someone as smart and interesting making the same waves over this side of the pond.
Joanne Pope, Plymouth.UK

Of course it's political. Anyone familiar with Moore's work knows how "objective" he really is - and if the judges didn't know, they should have.
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK

I can just imagine some of the outraged bile-slinging that will be posted here soon. I love the way that Republicans, self-proclaimed defenders of Freedom love to deny others that right. The US desperately needs someone like Moore, who while certainly biased, is not afraid to stand up against bullies, someone that the Bush administration can't simply place away from the cameras in his own "Freedom zone".
Dan M, UK

Of course it was political. The wave of anti Americanism and Bush bashing is in "vogue"
T A Sheppard, USA

Anything anti-war (regardless of quality) is popular with a certain section of the film industry. Moore's film relies largely on conjecture & stunts and is lacking in real hard evidence. His unabashed hatred of Bush has affected his judgement & made his work horribly one-sided.
Peter, Nottingham, U.K

To Peter, Nottingham, U.K : Of course, Moore's film is lacking in real hard evidence, but it is only a film. Some launch wars that are lacking in real hard evidence
Dominique, Paris France

Why not? Every other decision made by influential people is nowadays. Play them at their own game. Nice one Mr. Tarrantino!
Max Richards, England




SEE ALSO:
Moore film 'won Cannes on merit'
23 May 04  |  Entertainment



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific