Speak your mind and the boos will follow- Part 1

Stars Shun Politics, Except for Michael Moore
Most of the stars shunned politics at this Oscar ceremony but the personal was truly political for filmmaker Michael Moore, who finally received some long-deserved recognition from the Academy when he won the best documentary feature award for “Bowling for Columbine”. Moore not only brought his wife and the film’s producers on stage, he led all the other documentary nominees onto the platform as well.
After thanking the film’s producers, Moore launched into a blistering attack on both the war and President Bush, calling him a ” fictitious president” who won with “fictitious election results.”
“I’ve invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us,” began Moore. “They are here in solidarity with me because we like non-fiction. We like non-fiction and we live in fictitious times.”
“We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.”
His speech was met with a fair amount of booing and hissing but undaunted, Moore continued, “Whether itís the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts, we are against this war Mr. Bush. Shame on you! Shame on you! And any time you’ve got the pulpitÖ”
At this point, his time at the podium was brought to a close by the rising strains of the orchestra thought he tried to get in a few last words.
During his speech, the cameras cut to Adrien Brody, Martin Scorsese and Lou Gosset Jr., all of whose reaction was inscrutable. This was followed by a shot of a row with a smiling Harrison Ford and his grim-looking date, Calista Flockhart. A few seats down, Denzel Washington looked serious but his reaction to Moore’s speech was difficult to discern.
Following Moore’s speech, presenter Steve Martin joked, “The teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo.”
Moore was followed on stage by Jack Valenti, president of entertainment industry mouthpiece, MPAA. Coincidentally the increasing control of more media outlets by fewer corporations, and the degree of editorial unanimity to which it leads, was one of the issues touched on by Moore in “Columbine.”
Other well-known Hollywood liberals such as Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, did not use their time on the stage to rail against the war though they made roundabout comments about freedom of expression and the positive impact of art.
It was foreigners, Spanish-speakers to be precise, who made the most explicit anti-war statements, but even those, weren’t particularly strident. After thanking his collaborators on the film, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar dedicated his award to “all the people that are raising their voices in favor of peace, respect of human rights, democracy and international legality, all of which are essential qualities to live.”
The only other explicit statement containing an opinion about the war, whether pro or con, came from Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal. He introduced performer Caetano Veloso, who sang a song from the film “Frida” by saying, “If Frida was alive, she would be on our side, against war.”
Surprise best actor winner Adrien Brody was the only American on the podium, aside from Moore, who spoke at length on the war. After thanking all the appropriate parties and almost being cut off by the orchestra, Brody insisted on more time and began the “political” portion of what was a comparatively long speech.
“It fills me with great joy but I am also filled with a lot of sadness tonight,” Brody said, “because I am accepting an award at such a sad time. My experiences in making this film made me very aware of the sadness and dehumanization of people in times of war and the repercussions of war.”
“Whatever you believe in, whether it’s God or Allah, let’s pray for a peaceful and swift resolution and may he watch over you.”
Brody started tearing up at this point, as did fellow nominee Diane Lane, but he received a standing ovation and closed his speech by giving a shout-out to a friend of his from Queens, who is soldier in Kuwait.
He echoed the earlier statement of his colleague Chris Cooper, who in accepting his best supporting actor nomination for “Adaptation” said, “In light of all the troubles in this world. I wish us all peace.”
It was a sentiment echoed and felt by many.