It's no secret that Michael Moore hopes "Fahrenheit 9/11" will impact the November election, but that doesn't mean he thinks the R-rated movie's only for people old enough to vote.
"I have encouraged teenagers to go see this movie," Moore told MTV News. "Sneak into this movie. Get in by any means necessary. If you see me near a theater, I'll help sneak you in. Just get into this movie, because it should not be R-rated. And if your parents object, tell them I said it was OK. I'll write you a note or something."
The controversial documentary asks questions about the war in Iraq, the way President Bush dealt with September 11, and the Bush family's ties to the Saudi royal family and the family of Osama bin Laden. In the debate that the film has generated (see " 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Hot Spots: We Examine Five Critical Facts From The Film"), some critics have said Moore implants his own presence too firmly in the film and makes it largely a personal crusade against Bush.
"I firmly believe that my name is on the blood of [the Iraqi] people," Moore explained. "Because I pay my taxes and I funded those bombs, my name was on those bombs. Now I have a moral responsibility to the people who died that this president is not allowed to continue this illegal and immoral war."
It's a responsibility that would've been more difficult just months ago. "A year ago, an artist speaking out against Bush would have felt the heat," he said. "What a difference a year makes."
When the war first began, the climate in the United States was less open to hearing criticism of the government, and Moore was booed at the Academy Awards for calling Bush a "fictitious president."
"Public opinion was in favor of the war and in favor of Bush a year ago," he said. "And then the public learned the truth: that there were no weapons of mass destruction, that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and 9-11. And the funny thing about the American people is once they get the truth, they respond in a very positive way. And so people have come around. And now it's safer."
Moore is counting on that safer climate to allow his message to reach undecided swing voters, and also fire up some nonvoters. "My main hope," he said, "is that this film will inspire a few of the 50 percent who don't vote to come on out and vote, to re-engage in this democracy."
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