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Fahrenheit 9/11 Pirates


Fahrenheit 9/11 Pirates

by Kenneth Lyen

I just read, belatedly, a report in the newspaper that Michael Moore welcomes the appearance on the internet of pirated copies of his anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11:

My friend recently returned from an overseas vacation, and brought back a pirated DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11. It cost him less than US$1 in China. I was overjoyed when he invited a few of us over to watch it. But then euphoria quickly turned to frustration. Nothing to do with Michael Moore. The DVD quality was abysmal.  It stopped and started about eight times before finally grinding to a terminal halt half way through. How infuriating... I never got to watch the whole film!

I wonder if this film will ever make its way to Singapore. Our censorship may be a bit heavy handed at times, and can adversely affect the circulation of a film. This makes our cinemas owners very careful in their choice of films they bring in for public screening. Indeed films of a politically sensitive nature may even get banned. For example, Zoolander, the film starring Ben Stiller about the assassination of a Malaysian Prime Minister, is banned. And this is only fiction!

Hence our only recourse to watching films like Fahrenheit 9/11 is to smuggle in a pirated copy from our neighbouring country. I know it does not justify our buying of pirated films. But at least I’m comforted that I have the blessing of Michael Moore.

I just hope that these pirates improve their quality control!

[Post-script: Fahrenheit 9/11 did make it to our cinema screens, and enjoyed commercial success here.]