NEW YORK - President Bush and everyone in Washington should screen Michael Moore's controversial anti-Bush film "Fahrenheit 9/11," a group of military and 9/11 families said Wednesday.
Ivan Medina (R) makes a point during a news conference in New York June 30, 2004 held to support the film 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' Medina, a Marine who served in Iraq, talked about his twin brother Irving who was also a Marine and was killed in Iraq. Media's parents Jorge (C) and Ana also attended the news conference where military families urged President George W. Bush and his cabinet to see the film 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' REUTERS/Jeff Christensen
"What we want to say is how important Michael Moore's movie is ... in bringing back the ability to have a dialogue" about the issues surrounding the war," said Nancy Lessin of the group Military Families Speak Out, whose stepson is a Marine.
"What we're trying to do here is to tell the administration ... not only see it but then come out ... and explain why this happened, why we went to Iraq and why 9/11 happened," said Ivan Medina, a former Marine from Middletown, N.Y., who served in Iraq and whose twin brother Irving was killed there.
Moore's movie is highly critical of Bush and the decision to go to war in Iraq. It took in $23.9 million last weekend to become the first documentary to debut as Hollywood's top weekend film.
The movie won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May. But its release here has been anything but smooth sailing. New distributors had to be found after Disney refused to let its Miramax subsidiary release it, claiming it was too politically charged. The documentary was later bought by Miramax heads Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who found Lions Gate Films and IFC Films to help distribute it.
Conservative groups have tried to mobilize the public against the film, arguing that Moore's portrayal of the Bush administration is inaccurate. Speakers at Wednesday's news conference were critical of those efforts.
"I'm disappointed that the movie would be attacked just because (Moore) wants to consider the questions," said April Gallop, a Pentagon employee injured in the 9/11 attacks.
On the Net:
White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
'Fahrenheit 9/11' Web site: http://www.fahrenheit911.com/
Military Families Speak Out: http://www.mfso.org/
© Copyright 2004 The Associated Press