Director Ron Maxwell Denounces Moore Film
- Sunday, November 21, 2004
“We have a pied piper among us,” said director Ron Maxwell, in a scathing condemnation of Michael Moore, director of "Fahrenheit 9/11."
“He plays a seductive tune on his pipes as he seeks to lead our children into the abyss with the rodents that he led there before.” His comments came at the opening ceremony for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival earlier this month.
“A film director has an obligation to the truth,” Maxwell added. “If a film does not tell the truth, it has no value.”
“However, the great disgrace of that film is not that it was made,” Maxwell stressed. “We celebrate a free society where we can make any film that we want. The disgrace is that so many reputable organizations like the New York Times, like The Washington Post, like – dare I mention it? – the Cannes film festival, sought to honor this film for its politics.”
Moore received rave reviews from many in the media and the Hollywood community as well as receiving top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His political documentary, which he asserted was designed to sway the 2004 election, has grossed nearly $120 million in box office sales. Moore announced this week that he plans to film a sequel to "Fahrenheit 9/11" within the next 2-3 years. The sequel, tentatively titled, "Fahrenheit 9/11 and ½," will be released to coincide with the campaign for the next presidential election, a spokesman for Moore said in a comment to reporters earlier this week.
Director Ron Maxwell, who is best known for his epic Civil War films "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals," explained that he did not oppose anti-war films. “Hollywood has a long and honorable history of the anti-war-film,” he explained. “The anti-war film makes a philosophical statement about the tragedy of war: it does not take the sides of the enemy, which is what 'Fahrenheit 9/11' did. That is not an anti-war film. It is a film by a filmmaker who has gone over to the enemy.”
“Those who honored this film dishonored the great tradition of anti-war films and dishonored the fundamental requirement of all art, which is to tell the truth,” he added. “We should never be seduced by propaganda, even if we think we are on the right side. Filmmakers have an obligation to tell the truth. We must tell the truth.”
Maxwell is well-known for the intense research that he gives to his film subjects before presenting them on screen. He came under fire by some critics for his portrayal of the fervent religious faith of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
In a personal interview, Maxwell explained his motivations for presenting the story of "Gods and Generals" in this fashion: “It was just telling the story with fidelity. You can’t understand Jackson if you remove his faith from the equation. It was central to who he was.”
Maxwell attended the first annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival as a special guest of Vision Forum founder, Doug Phillips, who hosted the event. The festival was designed to encourage and educate filmmakers to produce quality films that would honor God, Phillips explained. A $10,000 prize was awarded for the Best of Festival film.
Amelia Harper is an author and free-lance writer, frequently publishing in the media and educational fields. Her complete one-year literature curriculum, Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings, was published in May 2004 by HomeScholar Books. She is also the Media Editor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine, a national quarterly homeschool publication. A complete interview with director Ron Maxwell can be found in that publication in the upcoming Winter Edition.
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