Film fuels fury

Voter registration phone parties. Informal get-togethers over “Progressive Pints.” Bake sales to oust Bush. Signs for pets that read: “My owner supports John Kerry” or “I pee on Bushes.”

Those are some of the plans “to take back our country” generated Monday by 240 movie-goers who’d caught the film Fahrenheit 9/11 on its opening weekend. A TMCC auditorium hired for a MoveOn national teleconference with filmmaker Michael Moore was packed. Frustration over the events depicted in the Bush-bashing documentary had fueled the urge to act.

“This is amazing,” said Katy Chandler, event organizer. An interactive map showed around 35,000 people logged on across the nation.

Moore said that he felt better than he had since Jan. 1, 2001, when Bush took office. He reviewed records that his film broke over the weekend.

“The per-screen average was higher than The Passion of the Christ,” Moore bragged. He added that the take was only $4 per screen over the Gibson film, but still—Moore felt good. “I think I can say that, as a practicing Catholic.” Renoites laughed and cheered.

“It was the No. 1 movie in the red states—in every state that voted for George Bush. … It must have been a shocking thing for the White House.”

He repeated anecdotes about filmgoers across the nation, from prayer and action groups that formed after the film’s showing to the man who took off his shoe and threw it at the screen.

“Anyone who was on the fence when they went into the movie fell off the fence,” Moore said. He urged attendees to plan trips to swing states, like Nevada, in October.

After Moore’s talk, attendees broke into smaller groups to talk about the film and to brainstorm ways to affect Nevada’s vote.

Elisa Maser, a Northern Nevada Republican, said that she was most moved by footage showing Bush’s reaction after first hearing about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He spent another seven minutes talking to elementary-school children.

“That was so telling,” she said.

Maser knows the importance of an individual’s vote. Her mother, Patty Cafferata, won a race for the Nevada Assembly by one vote.

Maser won’t be voting for Bush. But she won’t be changing parties, either.

“The Republican Party I grew up with had some good stuff,” she said.