The company that last month refused to release the politically explosive Fahrenheit 9/11 now plans to release the film America’s Heart and Soul on Friday.
Supporters say the new film could counter-balance Michael Moore’s hit film that has already taken more than $23 million at the box office.
“This unusual [Disney] film was inspirational,” said Howard Kaloogian, chairman of Move America Forward, which has spearheaded a boycotting campaign of Fahrenheit 9/11 after attending a special screening of the film on Monday.
“It was an amazing set of vignettes of stories of different Americans and their pursuit of passion. Each individual was able to explore their passion because of the freedom this country has given us.”
While America’s Heart and Soul may leave audiences feeling “warm and proud,” Moore’s was a political attack on US President George Bush aimed at destroying US confidence in the war against terror and defeating Bush at November’s polls, Kaloogian said.
“I don’t think you can position the two films against each other because Heart and Soul is apolitical, but you come out of it with a very different feeling about America than when you leave Moore’s film.”
“It [Disney film] was
With its patriotic undertones and emphasis on the goodness of Americans, the film contrasts with Michael Moore’s documentary that accused the Bush administration of waging an unjustified war in Iraq and revealing alleged links between the Bush family and that of Usama bin Ladin.
But Disney executives said that the release of the new film on Friday – a week after the release of Fahrenheit 9/11 – was simply co-incidental.
Releasing the film now “had nothing to do with Fahrenheit 9/11 and there is no link at all between the two movies,” said one Disney executive.
Mouse goes political
Disney in May declined to release Moore’s film – produced by its Miramax unit – because of its divisive political nature, and sold the rights to the film back to a production company owned by Miramax bosses Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
After battling to find a distribution company, the movie was finally picked up by Lion’s Gate Entertainment which released it to record box office returns on Friday.
The film took $23.9 million in North America, more than any other documentary in history, and eclipsed the revenues of two major new Hollywood movies released last weekend.