Geeee, What a shocker!
Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Wins Cannes' Top Prize
CANNES, France (May 22) - American filmmaker Michael Moore's ''Fahrenheit 9/11,'' a scathing indictment of White House actions after the Sept. 11 attacks, won the top prize Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival.
''Fahrenheit 9/11'' was the first documentary to win Cannes' prestigious Palme d'Or since Jacques Cousteau's and Louis Malle's ''The Silent World'' in 1956.
''What have you done? I'm completely overwhelmed by this. Merci,'' Moore said after getting a standing ovation from the Cannes crowd.
Moore was momentarily flabbergasted when he took the stage to accept the award, a big difference from his fiery speech against President Bush after winning the best-documentary Academy Award for 2002's ''Bowling for Columbine.''
''You have to understand, the last time I was on an awards stage, in Hollywood, all hell broke loose,'' Moore said.
''Fahrenheit 9/11'' won the top award at a festival that sharply divided Cannes moviegoers, who found a solid crop of good movies among the 19 entries in the festival's main competition but no great ones that rose to front-runner status.
While ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' was well-received by Cannes audiences, many critics felt it was inferior to Moore's Academy Award-winning documentary ''Bowling for Columbine,'' which earned him a special prize at Cannes in 2002.
Some critics speculated that if ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' won the top prize, it would be more for the film's politics than its cinematic value.
With Moore's customary blend of humor and horror, ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' accuses the Bush camp of stealing the 2000 election, overlooking terrorism warnings before Sept. 11 and fanning fears of more attacks to secure Americans' support for the Iraq war.
Moore appears on-screen far less in ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' than in ''Bowling for Columbine'' or his other documentaries. The film relies largely on interviews, footage of U.S. soldiers and war victims in Iraq, and archival footage of Bush.
Just back in Cannes after his daughter's college graduation in the United States, Moore dedicated the award to ''my daughter and to all the children in America and Iraq and throughout the world who suffered through our actions.''
Moore said after the ceremony that he expected right-wing media outlets in the United States to characterize his prize as an award from the French, whose government opposed the U.S.-led war on Iraq. He noted that the nine-person Cannes jury that awarded prizes had only one French member and four Americans, including jury president Quentin Tarantino and actress Kathleen Turner.
Many Americans now realize the French are ''good friends of America who tried to do the right thing and tell us this was the wrong road,'' Moore said. ''We owe the people of this country an apology for the way they were debased and treated in our media.''