Bowling for Columbine is an alternately humourous and horrifying film about the United States. It is a film about the state of the Union, about the violent soul of America. Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence? The talking heads yelling from every TV camera blame everything from Satan to video games. But are we that much different from many other countries? What sets us apart? How have we become both the master and victim of such enormous amounts of violence? This is not a film about gun control. It is a film about the fearful heart and soul of the United States, and the 280 million Americans lucky enough to have the right to a constitutionally protected Uzi.
Bowling for Columbine was the first documentary film accepted into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 46 years. The Cannes jury unanimously awarded it the 55th Anniversary Prize. From a look at the Columbine High School security camera tapes to the home of Oscar-winning NRA President Charlton Heston, from a young man who makes homemade napalm with The Anarchist’s Cookbook to the murder of a six-year-old girl by another six-year-old, Bowling for Columbine is a journey through America, and through our past, hoping to discover why our pursuit of happiness is so riddled with violence.
Author, filmmaker, and political activist Michael Moore has developed a trademark style of tackling major issues with a sharp sense of humor while maintaining a regular-guy attitude, an approach that has helped him secure a reputation as both a razor-sharp humorist and one of America’s most fearless political commentators. Michael Moore was born in 1954 in Davison, MI, a suburb of Flint, then home to one of General Motors’ biggest manufacturing plants, where Moore’s father and grandfather both worked. Born to an Irish-Catholic family, Moore attended parochial school until he was 14, when he transferred to Davison High School. Moore soon developed an interest in student politics as well as larger issues; he won a merit badge as an Eagle Scout by creating a slide show exposing environmentally unfriendly businesses in Flint, and in 1972, when 18-year-olds were granted the right to vote, he ran for a seat on the Flint school board, soon becoming one of the youngest people in the United… read more
He's obnoxious. We are bombarded with information in a racy kind of MTV way. It makes the message of the script seem superficial. The arguments are never fully developed or hard-hitting. It's interesting and it's a film that needs to be seen by those who are ignorant to these problems. But Bowling for Columbine ends up failing, ultimately. For the most part, it's less a film about Columbine and more about Bush.
As much as I dislike his obnoxious style (though he is far preferable to the smug Louis Theroux in this regard) BfC is probably Michael Moore's best, and most the emotional documentary. Beyond Klebold and Harris, Charlton Heston and the NRA, Marilyn Manson and K-Mart, this a portrait of a nation gripped by Fear. Fear about safety, fear about each other, and fear that lies in the uncertainty of the human condition.
"Michael Moore - who has made a fortune out of attacking America's obsession with guns, its health care system and the Iraq war
“If more guns made people safer America would be one of the safest countries in the world, it’s the opposite” – Un-named Canadian man in ‘Bowling for Columbine’
I hadn’t anticipated getting… read review