Movie Article

Burning Bush

Michael Moore plans documentary on Bush-Osama ties. Mel Gibson will coproduce ''Fahrenheit 911''

Apparently, Michael Moore's antiwar speech at the Oscars wasn't a career killer after all. Variety reports he's made a deal to finance his next documentary, which will detail the ties between the Bush and bin Laden families that predated (and, Moore says, post-dated) the Sept. 11 attacks. The title: ''Fahrenheit 911.'' Moore spoke to EW about this project and his controversial acceptance speech in a post-Oscar interview.

''The primary thrust of the new film is what has happened to the country since Sept. 11, and how the Bush administration used this tragic event to push its agenda,'' said Moore, who says he's already been researching the film for a year. ''It certainly does deal with the Bush and bin Laden ties. It asks a number of questions that I don't have the answers to yet, but which I intend to find out.''

Moore says that the first President Bush had a business relationship with Mohammed bin Laden, the Al Qaeda founder's father. ''The senior Bush kept his ties with the bin Laden family up until two months after Sept. 11,'' Moore told Variety. ''The bin Ladens invested heavily in the Carlyle Group, which has its hands in a number of pies and is the 11th largest defense contractor even though it mostly buys failing defense companies and sells them for profits.''

With the Oscar-winning ''Bowling for Columbine'' having grossed some $40 million worldwide to become one of the most successful documentaries ever made, Moore says he had no trouble finding financing for his next project. His backer is Mel Gibson's company, Icon Productions. There's no small irony in that, not just because Gibson is as famously conservative as Moore is liberal, but also because the actor's father, Hutton Gibson, said in his notorious recent New York Times interview that he did not believe bin Laden's Al Qaeda was behind the hijacking of the planes in the Sept. 11 attacks. ''Anybody can put out a passenger list,'' the elder Gibson told the Times. ''They were crashed by remote control.'' Apparently, the ''Conspiracy Theory'' star does not share that view.

Originally posted Mar 28, 2003
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