Story by: Jack Foley
THE decision to award Michael Moore’s controversial documentary,
Fahrenheit 9/11, the Palme d’Or has been defended by Cannes
jury head, Quentin Tarantino.
The documentary, which alleges links between the US President,
George Bush, and top Saudi families, including the Bin Ladens,
walked off with the prestigious accolade at the showpiece ceremony,
beating the likes of Shrek 2.
But it immediately drew criticism from people who felt that the
Cannes jury had bowed to political pressure and provided Moore
with a world-wide forum for his anti-Bush views.
Moore, himself, has already stated his intention that the film
draws an end to the current US administration in this, an election
But Tarantino, who had told a recent London press conference
for his Kill Bill sequel, that
the best film would win, maintained that the film’s overt
political themes had not influenced anyone’s choice.
Speaking at a post-Cannes press conference, which marked the
first of its kind, a defiant Tarantino told journalists that he
knew ‘all this politics crap would be brought up’,
but stressed: "We all agreed that Fahrenheit 9/11 was the
best movie of the competition."
He added that when he had presented
Moore, on stage, with his accolade, he had whispered in his ear
the same sentiment, informing him that he had triumphed because
the jury had thought it was the best film they had seen.
Fahrenheit 9/11’s victory makes it the first documentary
since Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World, in 1956, to win the
And it also paves the way for the film to be released in America,
having previously been refused a distribution deal by Disney,
the parent company of its producer, Miramax.
In light of the win, Moore told the Associated Press news agency
that he was hopeful of striking a deal soon, adding that he would
not be surprised to have found someone ‘within the next
Another of the Cannes jury, actress, Kathleen Turner, said of
the documentary: "We felt this was more than a documentary."
The event brought to a close a festival that returned the glamour,
glitz and quality to Cannes - after what proved to be a disappointing
Other highlights included an appearance by the cast
of Troy, including a rare press conference
from Brad Pitt; the screening of Michael Winterbottom’s
explicit sex film, Nine Songs,
and appearances by the casts of Shrek 2, Shark
Tale and The Ladykillers,
including Tom Hanks.