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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A clip of a Godzilla-type monster roaring is shown while showing gun-related death rates for Japan. The clip, however, is from Gorgo, which was a UK production. See more »
I left the Heston estate atop Beverly Hills and walked back into the real world. To an America living and breathing in fear. Where gun sales are now at an all record high. And where, in the end, it all comes back to 'Bowling for Columbine'.
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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 »
In the theatrical release, a caption was inserted into a 1988 Bush-Quayle ad, "Revolving Doors," which read "Willie Horton released. Then kills again." In the DVD release, the caption reads "Willie Horton released. Then rapes a woman." Neither version makes it clear that the text was not part of the original ad. See more »
The scenes shot in Sarnia, Windsor and Toronto, Canada have provoked much conversation in Canada. These scenes epitomize both the problem and the strength of BFC, that is, the sense is correct but the details often exaggerated. While the received notion that Canada is less violent than the US is accurate, we are catching up in a hurry. And people do lock their doors, at night anyway. In Toronto's current (Nov. 2003) mayoralty election, increasing street violence and crime is a major issue. When Moore asks Heston, "Why do other countries have so much less gun violence than the US?" Did you catch his brief answer? He says, "They will". Whatever is causing the problem, the U.S. is on the leading edge of the curve, but other countries are catching up.
That said, I give Moore credit for provoking conversation, for his humour (in spots). His lack of balance doesn't concern me. I can find my own balance, thank goodness for dissent and free speech. I also think that Moore is restrained in drawing conclusions in the film, which is a great strength of the film, in provoking discussion, and allowing people to express their own opinions.
Finally, Moore is way off on Marilyn Manson. Moore is careful to say that there is no direct causal relationship between Lockheed and the Columbine assassins - it's a mentality thing. Isn't the connection between Manson and teenage suicide/ violence much more palpable than Moore's connection of Lockheed & Columbine.
** UPDATE in Nov. 2005 - regarding Toronto, the score is Heston 1 Moore 0.
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