Conflicts That Arise from Particular Ways of Seeing the World Are Made Evident Through the Shaping of Texts-Barry Levinson’s Film “Wag the Dog” and Michael Moore’s Documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11”

1030 words 5 pages

Conflicts that arise from particular ways of seeing the world are made evident through the shaping of texts. In Barry Levinson’s film “Wag the Dog” and Michael Moore’s documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11”, it is clear that the perspectives in which the audience views the world create particular conflicts. In both texts, the conflicting perspectives arise from the way the naïve public views the world and the way that the government and media view the world through their particular agendas.

In “Wag the Dog”, the plot relies on the alleged sexual impropriety of the president and the way in which particular political powers and the media intervene. In the film it is clear that the audience is seeing two perspectives, that of the
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The main conflict that arises in this case is that of reality against appearance.

The documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” serves as a treatise against the Bush administration, and highlights what Moore sees as governmental corruption and disinformation by the former president and his staff. He draws the audience into his view of the world at the time of Bush’s presidency to do so. He uses graphic violence of real war-zone footage with formal White House dinners to produce certain reactions to audience. As these images flash before the viewer’s eyes, they are able to clearly see through Moore’s perspective. By juxtaposing iconic symbols and video montages of the former President Bush against war scenes and emotional personal interviews, Moore develops his perspective of events, against the perspective of the government that the public received. One of the most effective scenes in the documentary that Moore uses to reel the audience in to his perspective is when the screen cuts to black for nearly 2 minutes. There is no image on the screen, but the background sounds are instantly recognizable: loud explosions, wailing sirens, screaming people, news reports of aircraft hitting the World Trade Center and weeping women. Through the use of diegetic sound, Moore deftly manipulates his audience, forcing them to relive the tragic events of 9/11 in their own minds.


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