As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Fitna – a review

Posted by Hedwig on March 28, 2008

So, it is done. Wilders’ creation has been unleashed on the interwebs. And…it’s a huge anticlimax because it’s not by far as bad as in everyone’s imagination. I wanted to review it purely based on artistic merit, discounting the issues I might have with the content, but truth be told… it has little, if any. It’s amateurish cut-and-paste work, employing the same techniques Michael Moore often does (most notably superposition to imply a causal connection), but without the skill (and humor) that make Moore’s work bearable.

The one even slightly interesting artistic choice is to show video clips (of 9-11, the attacks in Madrid, imams shouting crazy stuff etc.) framed as if they are in a book, which is suggested to be the Koran. If only it had been done less clumsily. Also, the attempts at manipulation (a hand starts turning a page, the screen fades to black… then a text tells us we just heard a phone book being torn) are crass and obvious. The problem? Crass as the manipulation is, some people are sure to fall for it.

I could go on. About the lack of original material, about the violation of “show, don’t tell”. About its vain attempt to appropriate powerful material (those shots of 9-11, especially, still carry a wallop). But in the end, the so-called “movie” violates the most important rule: it’s boring.

Ironically enough, the ideological content of Wilders’ film might not violate any laws…but it looks like he did violate copyright laws: he used one of the Danish cartoons without asking for permission, and the author is pissed.

I’m fairly radical in my defense of free speech. I think Wilders should be allowed to air his movie. I, in turn, think I should be allowed to dismiss it, and ignore its existence from now on.

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7 Responses to “Fitna – a review”

  1. Well, it was taken back down by the time I got around to checking it out. The irony I suppose is that the people making the death threats causing it to get pulled are playing right into this hateful clown’s agenda.

    Sometimes I’m embarrassed for my species.

  2. Kaj said

    It reminded me a lot of Jud Süss and Der Ewige Jude, propagandawise. But those are actually movies, Fitna is just a powerpoint presentation pretending to be a picture, for the most part.

  3. sarcastig said

    Well, I’m fairly sure you can still find torrents of it, if you really want to see it…which I can’t really imagine, since Kaj is right: it’s not even a documentary, really, just a poorly made collage.

  4. Lanchka said

    For those interested in watching it, we just saw it on YouTube. Not particularly impressive in terms of cinematographic skill, but much less provocative than we expected. Overall, it felt a bit too familiar, certainly boring, as there were no new ideas there. Definitely agree with Kaj about it being a ppt masquerading as a “movie.”

  5. I wouldn’t know a torrent if it walked up to me, introduced itself as Torrent C. Torrentson the mayor of Torrent Town, kissed me on the cheek, and then pinched me on the ass.

    Plus, I’ve already grown weary of the thing and I haven’t even seen it.

  6. Daniel said

    I caught wind of this film on the Alternative Film Guide, where it caused a mini-uproar, but I have no intention of seeing it. None, and I’m not for censorship at all. I’m just not for…whatever you want to call Fitna.

    Hehe, Craig, you might be seduced Ms. Torrentson if go on a date with her.

  7. Merijn said

    Also, the pic of Mohammed B. was, in fact, not Mohammed B. but a Dutch rapper who is also very pissed off.

    Likely for the interviewer of Theo van Gogh, of whose interview a snippet was used in Fitna.

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