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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 106,694 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 875 user | 216 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

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Title: Bowling for Columbine (2002)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself / Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Salvador Allende ...
Himself - President of Chile (archive footage)
Jacobo Arbenz ...
Himself - President of Guatemala (archive footage)
Mike Bradley ...
Himself - Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Arthur A. Busch ...
Himself - County Prosecutor: Flint, Michigan (as Arthur Busch)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Michael Caldwell ...
Himself - Police Detective
Richard Castaldo ...
Himself - Columbine Victim
...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Steve Davis ...
Himself - Deputy Sheriff (archive footage)
Ngo Dinh Diem ...
Himself - President of South Vietnam (archive footage)
Mike Epstein ...
Himself - Shopper in Mall
Joe Farmer ...
Himself - Superintendent of Schools (archive footage)
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Storyline

The United States of America is notorious for its astronomical number of people killed by firearms for a developed nation without a civil war. With his signature sense of angry humor, activist filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to explore the roots of this bloodshed. In doing so, he learns that the conventional answers of easy availability of guns, violent national history, violent entertainment and even poverty are inadequate to explain this violence when other cultures share those same factors without the equivalent carnage. In order to arrive at a possible explanation, Michael Moore takes on a deeper examination of America's culture of fear, bigotry and violence in a nation with widespread gun ownership. Furthermore, he seeks to investigate and confront the powerful elite political and corporate interests fanning this culture for their own unscrupulous gain. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are we a nation of gun nuts or are we just nuts? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

21 November 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Bowling for Columbine  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,738 (Hong Kong) (6 June 2003)

Gross:

$312,914 (Brazil) (20 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Charlton Heston abruptly ended the interview, Michael Moore and his film crew walked down Heston's driveway to find themselves temporarily trapped as the gate closed. Fearing that Heston may have called someone to try and confiscate the interview footage, Moore had his cameraman pass the film through the bars of the gate to staffers waiting outside. Moore then told the staffers to depart immediately with the film. Moore and his crew eventually left Heston's estate without incident. See more »

Goofs

A clip of a Godzilla-type monster roaring is shown while showing gun-related death rates for Japan. The clip, however, is from Gorgo (1961), which was a UK production. See more »

Quotes

Michael Moore: I'm here to open up an account.
Helen Steinman: Okay, what kind of account?
Michael Moore: I want the account where I can get the free gun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, there is a thank you to Mike's Militia - Athens Branch. This does not exist - Michael Moore, during his speaking engagement at Ohio University, to promote his book, "Stupid White Men," screened two versions of the "History of gun control" animated segment, which featured the same animation but different narration. The audience was asked to vote on which of the two versions should be included. After choosing a version, Moore claimed he would include Athens, Ohio and the audience in the credits, but wasn't sure what name to give credit to. Several suggestions were shouted out and Mike Michigan Militia, Athens, OH branch was finally chosen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.2 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Corporation Man
Written by Donald McCloskey, Bob Golden & Lance Doss
Performed by Bob Golden & Lance Doss
Sung by Daryl Pediford
Courtesy of Savvy Kat Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
More Infactual Opinion From Moore
8 August 2004 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Is this supposed to be education from Michael Moore ? Okay people prepare to be educated

Moore sets himself up as some working class intellectual but the gist of this documentary is based on stats , half truths and most importantly of all - Points that seem to have been missed out on purpose

For example BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE centres around " America's astronomical murder rate " insinuating that the murder rate in that country is head and above any other country when it's not . Moore misses out the fact that per head of population the USA doesn't have the world's highest murder rate . That unwanted record is held by Mexico . Both Colombia and South Africa have higher murder rates per head of population than the US . He also fails to point out that many American states do have gun bans . New York for example has a total hand gun ban and the penalty for having an automatic weapon there is life imprisonment . He doesn't come out and say that anyone , everywhere in America can pop into any shop and buy as many guns and as much ammo as they want , but he heavily suggests it which misleads the uninformed

Moore also misses out other points about the American death tolls from murder . If you study American murder rates you'll see a clear connection between the American government banning things . For example the prohibition of alcholic drink in the 1920s led to a massive crime wave of killing as gangsters fought to take over the black market due to the drinks ban . As drugs started to flood into the cities of America in the 1960s the murder rate rose as people tried to muscle in on the hard drugs trade to the point where now many US cities are battle zones . It's not the fault of guns that so many people are murdered - It's the fault of drugs and the massive profits they generate that are leading to violence in America . This information doesn't seem to creep into Moore's hidden agenda . Of course if the American government of the day decided to legalise all drugs the gangs and dealers would become instantly disenfranchised , but this suggestion would seem to be too liberterian for Moore .

We're also treated to a wonderful piece of hypocrisy by Moore when he mentions that on the day of the Columbine school massacre the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia reached its peak . You may remember that because the Serbs were engaged in a violent conflict against Islamic insurgents ( America is doing something very similar today in Iraq ) NATO decided to bomb the Serbs until they pulled their troops out of Kosovo . Moore seems to be against the bombing of Yugoslavia in this documentary . What he doesn't tell you is that the NATO airstrikes were under the command of Wesley Clark , the same Wesley Clark who later ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination and the same Wesley Clark WHO MOORE LATER BACKED FOR DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION !

And being a Michael Moore documentary we are treated once again to Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World contrasting to images of human suffering. Moore has made a career out of this technique and it's not even his idea because he's stolen it from Barry Levinson in GOOD MORNING Vietnam

My own opinion of BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE is that it's polemical rubbish , uninformative and just plain misleading . I also found it stomach churning that Moore is awarded every film gong going because he makes documentaries centered around human tragedy . His fans will point out that Moore's advertising the fact that guns are responsible for a terrible death toll in which case I'll point out Moore is benefitting from this terrible death toll via this documentary and the praise and awards it received . I wonder how his fans feel about that as they rush out to watch his latest documentary or buy his latest book ?


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