Movie Article

Poli Gripped

EW's movie critic talks politics. Lisa Schwarzbaum explains how she puts politics aside come review time

George Bush, Fahrenheit 9/11 | BUSH WHACKED ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' raises some political temperatures
BUSH WHACKED ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' raises some political temperatures

EW's movie critic talks politics

When giving a positive or negative review to a political movie like ''Fahrenheit 9/11,'' is it difficult to put your own politics aside? -- Denise Wicker
The official answer is, I can watch anything with a neutral mind. The human answer is, Of course it's a challenge: We all react instinctively to movies, all movies, through the filter of our own values, and issue-oriented films are meant to goose. Besides, a he or she who is not provoked -- one way or another -- by the politics of ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' is a he or she without a pulse. The key word, though, is ''difficult.'' As a private citizen, I'm perfectly comfortable pumping my fist at the screen and yelping ''Right on!'' or rolling my eyes and yowling ''Bite me!'' But as a critic, I find it perfectly (or at least imperfectly) easy to acknowledge my own political point of view and then step back to analyze what message a movie is trying to convey, how it goes about fulfilling its aims, and what I think of the art that results.

Originally posted Jul 23, 2004 Published in issue #775 Jul 23, 2004 Order article reprints

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