Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Video 2004) Poster

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10/10
what a tangled web they weave
messiercat21 June 2005
One thing this production exposes, and it does it very well, is the intricate process of government corruption. Corporate bribery, fixed elections, government policy making, wars of conquest all overlap to benefit the big players. A great way to deflect criticism is to inextricably wrap all this corruption up in a warm and fuzzy flag. Palast says right in the beginning that this isn't new, it's just that the Bushes and their cronies have taken it to a new level. Simply amazing that we as a people let them get away with it. Palast stays on topic as the viewer is guided through one machination after another, sort of an album of mob snapshots. The outside world seems only a backdrop, things and people and policies exist only to help the family agenda along. America equals Bushco©, we all live there, we just don't know it.
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10/10
An excellent program buy why isn't the entire country outraged?
edkeller12164128 July 2005
Of all the shocking revelations in "Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2004)," the worst is that the country is not exposed to a credible presentation of those facts by our main stream media or by credible spokespersons. No contrary facts are presented - rather a dead(ly) silence. Does the Bush family (and more importantly the big money interests they represent), have our media so cowed that they are afraid of discussion, analysis or serious investigation of the massive corruption of those that put Pres. G.W. Bush in office or the empire building and money grabbing of he and his ilk??

So many Americans blindly see him as merely a not so intelligent plain folks guy who is at least honest and moral.
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4/10
Slanted and boring, frankly
FilmOtaku6 April 2005
As an investigative reporter for the BBC and Guardian newspapers, Greg Palast has been following the Bush family around for several years and turned some of his findings into a book called "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", which led to this fairly poorly put-together documentary.

Essentially split into two parts, the first portion focuses on George W. Bush's 2000 election, and the second centers on the Bush family's role in the oil business and how that is internationally relevant, particularly in regard to the war in Iraq. While I consider myself to be about as liberal as they come in terms of my own politics, I am just as annoyed with documentaries that have too much liberal slant in them as I am with those that have a conservative agenda. Sometimes, a politically motivated documentary can be successful in presenting facts and backing up their thesis while making no bones about the fact that they feel one way or another. ("Outfoxed" comes to mind) Unfortunately, it seems to be the more independent and lower budget documentaries that choose not to hide their bias, and "Bush Family Fortunes" is one of them. Freeze-framing someone so they look particularly insidious, repeatedly snidely calling Bush Sr. "Daddy" (yes, I know that W did that too, but still) and other elements made me roll my eyes a few times.

Unfortunate, because while I didn't really learn anything new in this documentary (other than a couple of things regarding the Florida election process in 2000, most of the material was covered by Michael Moore in "Fahrenheit 911, to a greater effect) there were definitely some relevant issues that were brought up. Employing tactics like having Greg Palast walk around in what looks like a detective's getup, walking down a street with smoke rising around him, and inserting Moby songs in a really awkward manner is unfortunately just not going to bring people in to see it. "Bush Family Fortunes" would have been better served as a television documentary, if Palast could have kept the sneering and the slant out of it. Interesting material, but the presentation is poor. This liberal gives this documentary a 4/10 --Shel
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4/10
OK. I'm Suspicious
sddavis6323 February 2011
Greg Palast - the investigative journalist who made this "documentary" - goes to great lengths (especially in the first several minutes) to establish a ground of credibility for this. Several times he refers to his "BBC-TV" crew and, yes, he's worked for the BBC. The BBC is a pretty credible news organization, so making sure that the BBC connection is pointed out clearly and repeatedly makes the suggestion that this is a very credible documentary. But that troubled me from the beginning (partly because the film opens by saying it was made by a company called "Disinformation Films") so even while I was watching this with great curiosity (and agreeing with many of the points that were being made because I'm no fan of George W. Bush) I was anxious to see the closing credits. They were interesting. They state that the film was made "from" a BBC program called "Bush Family Fortunes" (suggesting that the BBC material was edited at least to some degree), it openly acknowledged including material from other sources, the BBC logo never appears anywhere in the film's credits, and the final copyright notice is not "BBC" but "Greg Palast." So whatever credibility the "BBC" connection offered to this is gone to anyone who looks for signs of any particular BBC connection. The list of thanks offered to people who in some way were involved in this includes thanks to a number of Hollywood folks including people with well known anti- Bush leanings with names such as Ed Asner and Alec Baldwin popping up. None of the Hollywood types appear in the film so maybe they just financed it. Horrors! Did they buy themselves a documentary? (Surely if you're going to accuse Bush of being a lackey for those who donate to him, you can't honestly exempt Greg Palast from the same charge?) And of course the last words of the credits (before the copyright notice) are "Special Thanks to Michael Moore." OK. I get the picture. Notwithstanding Palast's pushing of his BBC connections in the first few minutes, this is not a BBC production and doesn't deserve the credibility that being a BBC production would give it.

Most of this goes over already well-worn ground against the Bush family. His supporters will howl in outrage over this; his opponents will cry tears of joy over this - but there really isn't anything new. Bush's joining the Texas Air Guard kept him out of Vietnam. The Florida vote count was questionable. The Bush family has big corporate connections that probably influenced Bush's decisions in office. The Bush family had connections with the Bin Laden family. And - most shocking of all - the Iraq War was about oil! (Yes, that's sarcastic.)

It's no wonder special thanks was given to Michael Moore. Greg Palast is clearly a Michael Moore wannabe. It's the same biased, sarcastic stuff against Bush which includes personal attacks, and right off the top questions Bush's own intelligence. Like MM's stuff, it makes no pretension of being unbiased (except by dishonestly implying that it's somehow a piece of work by the BBC). And what's with Palast and that stupid hat he wears throughout. It made him look like some Hollywood detective from the 40's, but it didn't make me take him seriously. Sure he raises some valid points - points that, as I've said, have been raised over and over (so how many new pretend docs do we need to raise them?) But - valid though many of his points may be - it's hard to take this seriously.
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7/10
Overall good, however not as creative as F/911
byronicboom20 October 2005
This movie borrows a great deal from F/911. It does do a nice job expanding upon the Florida voting sham/scam of the 2000 election. It's a shame these films did not receive their proper exposure prior to the 2004 election. The truth hurts, and sometimes I think Americans are guilty of avoiding the truth for the sake of convenience. Are we intellectually lazy as a society? Perhaps. Then again, maybe the "red state" values are different from the traditional "blue state".

Anyhow, the film does give a special thanks to Michael Moore at the end, and it was great entertainment overall, however no where near the gem F/911 was.
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