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Local residents boiling over "Fahrenheit 9/11"
link to news article
BY EMILY NGO
BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
Jun 28, 12:00 AM EDT
ABINGDON [SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA] – Michael Moore’s newest documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11," has transformed the Abingdon Cinemall into a political battlefield.
Protests have included a suggestion that Cinemall be blown off the face of the earth, several promises to boycott it for life and even a bomb threat.
"They hung up before we could defend ourselves and say that we’re neutral," said theater owner Steve Weston.
Friday’s opening here was met with nearly 200 phone calls and e-mails, both supportive and condemning.
"We’ve never had any threats like this since we opened in early ’89," Weston, 54, said of the angrier responses. "We’ve gotten some really damning phone calls."
The political documentary, which won the Palme d’Or award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, probes controversial aspects of the Bush administration following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Fast-paced and suggestive, it blends commentary by Moore with archived clips of the president and interviews of government officials, soldiers and their families. The controversial film delves into 2000’s narrow election victory, explores business relations between the Bush and bin Laden families and questions the motivation to go to war in Iraq.
Critics say "Fahrenheit 9/11" may persuade enough undecided voters to swing the upcoming election against Bush, but in more conservative areas of the country, many voters may have made up their minds already.
"Republicans make up a major portion of this voting public," Weston said. "Some of them don’t understand this is just one person’s viewpoint."