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'Shame on you, Mr Bush!'

March 24, 2003 13:52 IST

Michael Moore, who received a standing ovation at the 75th Annual Academy Awards when his documentary film Bowling For Columbine won the award, suddenly faced boos when he launched into a blistering attack on President George W Bush. Michael Moore

But the combatative filmmaker-writer, whose hit film (worldwide gross million) examines American obsession with violence, could not be stopped.

Moore, who invited other documentary nominees to the podium, began by saying he wanted to honour them too because they dealt with the real world. But the world we are living in, he said, is fictitious. America has had a fictitious election, he said, as the boos began. And there is a fictitious president, he continued.

"We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons," he said, his voice soaring. "Whether it is the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr Bush. Shame on you, Mr Bush!"

Politics was never away from the day's proceedings but many other filmmakers and artistes invoked peace with grace. In fact, one of them -- surprise winner Adrien Brody for The Pianist -- got a standing ovation when he invoked God and Allah to bring about peace. 

Brody, who plays a survivor of Nazi atrocities in Poland, said as he remembered the creation of the film, he also thought about the war in Iraq. He said his experiences while working on the film and researching for it had made him "very aware of the sadness" war causes. "Let's pray for a peaceful and swift resolution," he said.

Pedro Almodovar, fabled Spanish writer and director who won Best Original Script Award for his unusual, psychological love story Talk To Her, called for "international legality" and hoped for peace. Almodovar, whose film received major awards in Europe, where it grossed million ( million in America), had called for peace  in Iraq at other award ceremonies, too.

Gael Garcia Bernal, the popular Latin American star, whose hits include Y Tu Mama Tambien (which was nominated in the script category) and El Crimen Del Padre Amaro (Best Foreign Film nominee), said, "Necessity for peace in the world is not a dream but reality."

Bernal, who had introduced a song from the movie Frida, said if the radical painter Frida Kahlo had lived, she would be "outside" protesting against war.

Arthur J Pais