Watching Michael Moore in 2018 Is Bittersweet

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It’s that time again, folks: Michael Moore is releasing a new documentary. Fahrenheit 11/9 (a reference to the date of Trump’s election) will be released in theaters September 21st. In the trailer, Moore refers to Trump as the “last president of the United States,” alluding to a cataclysm that may befall our country under his rule if nothing is done to prevent it.


Moore has the dubious honor of being one of the few on the left who accurately predicted the results of the 2016 election. In a blog post before the election, he outlined how factors like disillusionment in the Rust Belt and lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton would lead to a Trump victory. He was right.

In the trailer for Moore’s new film, we jump from footage of Donald Trump to Nazi protests to interviews with survivors of the Parkland mass shooting to brief footage of surprise Democratic primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The trailer feels jumbled and hyperactive in a way that accurately reflects what it’s like to live in these times.

Moore is a master at crafting heightened left-wing propaganda. His films Bowling For Columbine and Sicko felt like rallying cries for a nearly destroyed American left. But what does Moore have to offer us in 2018?

It’s hard not to feel nostalgic for the days when stunts like taking 9/11 first responders to Cuba for cheap healthcare or singing Christmas carols to tobacco executives through tracheostomies felt truly subversive. But today, watching Moore spray “Flint Water” at Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s house just feels a little sad. It’s hard to believe that stunts like these might have any impact when literal Nazis are running for office and former government officials are openly admitting to criminal acts. How do you “expose” hypocrisy and injustice when politicians are happy to do it all right out in the open? Perhaps Moore’s film will go further, laying out a path forward for the American left. Or maybe it will be just another warning that goes unheeded.