The aftermath of the 2016 presidential election was one that will forever go down in our media’s history as the trigger finger of controversy. As the nation’s culture of easily accessible media makes its way into politics, the product of the consequences is documented by Michael Moore. Moore is hardly a stranger to controversy, quite the contrary. His documentaries are trailblazing works of profound ideas and immensely introspective of societal hierarchies, this two-hour feature is no different.
The film begins with footage from election night, in front of a crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters with “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten playing. The scene building on the hope that many people had before the announcement was made. As soon as Donald Trump’s face made it on screen, the tone shifts to that of a world on fire. Moore makes a brief summary of the complete shock before loosely asking, in a dark, ominous, slightly horrified tone,
Moore covers much of how Trump became president, primarily through a social media uproar. He proceeds to turn to the aftermath of January 20th, the day our 45th president was sworn in. He covers the outrageousness of the public outcry, before navigating the country closer to home, in Michigan. He documents the Flint Water Crisis, interviewing people who had helped cover up the knowledge of lead levels in the water. The narrative turns to the perceived cause, which ultimately puts Governor Rick Snyder to blame. He details Snyder’s involvement before having some fun with a congressman by daring them to drink Flint’s Water and even spraying Rick Snyder’s yard with a Flint water truck hose. The comedic scenes serves as a sort of poetic justice for the ridiculousness of how corrupt the government had gotten. He also took time to criticize President Barack Obama’s questionable video addressing the matter where Obama seemingly mocked the crisis. The video in question had very mixed messages and is considered a darker moment in his presidency.
The buzz of the election had died down, leading to the documentary to seem late to the party. The film included a very crucial part of the political chaos that hit in 2018. February 15th, Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 students to a gunman that openly fired on the campus. In response, the survivors’ resilience of the tragedy leads them to demand gun reform. For young adults, they managed a march on Washington D.C in protest and in commemoration for the seventeen students lost. Moore, personally, met up with the students in charge and interviewed them on their accomplishments. They all had continued to achieve their goal for gun reform, even as time passed.
The documentary was dealt with class and respect for the aforementioned tragedies. Moore did not leave out the essential aspect of his work; comedy. When dealing with serious subjects, his tone would shift respectfully, and his satire was always appropriate. More did not skip a beat when speaking his truth, nor did he withhold judgments to the peculiar occurrences in American Government.
As always, Moore calls attention to the source of the dismal. He considers it to be the corruptness of the government and greed that has consumed those in power. He suggests looking at various circumstances in different ways and to shed light on the darkness that blinds us from the truth.