Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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)
The quote of Charlton Heston saying "From my cold dead hands!" was from the NRA convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in spring 2000. See more »
During the sequence about potential causes of violence, Moore mentions that most violent video games are made in Japan. It shows a clip from the Mortal Kombat series. This series, while containing some Asian themes, is actually the product of Chicago-based Midway games. See more »
[Graphic on Canadian news show]
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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 »
On April 20, 1999 two students opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. It left 13 people dead and many more injured, gravely affecting the lives of those involved and stirring up a very loud gun control debate. In 2001, Michael Moore released Bowling for Columbine, a documentary that takes a look at gun violence in America and the things that make us the nation with, by far, the most gun related deaths per year. Moore examines the culture of America and just how we got this way through fear, paranoia, and vast over compensation to protect ourselves from something that isn't even there.
Michael Moore is obviously very liberal, and this comes through in almost everything he says or does. There is a lot of politics that go into his filmmaking, especially in this film that was released amidst the Bush administration. A lot of personal opinion goes into his filmmaking and he presents a very left wing point of view. Moore also employs plenty of theatrics and some overly dramatic moments in his film to get a point across. However, said point is incredibly important and it is laid out very clearly and very concisely throughout Bowling for Columbine.
Politics play a part in Moore's arguments, but they don't overshadow the basis of what he is trying to prove. In this film, he clearly outlines America's gun crazy culture fueled by paranoia, and if you just take a look around you will know that he has a point. Sure he finds the most ridiculous stories and the greatest examples to push his point, but in the broad generalization of what he is examining you can't say that he's wrong.
Interestingly enough, things haven't changed much in our culture in the eleven years this film has been out. America still thrives on fear, and we still fear the same things we did when this movie was made. It was incredibly interesting watching this film after the recent events in Aurora, Colorado because anything Moore says about Columbine can easily be related to our most recent tragedy. It proves that Moore has, rather unfortunately, made a timeless film that looks at an issue that seems to never go away, instead only getting worse. Moore tackles some disturbingly true topics about gun violence and fear, and he puts it all into his perspective very well in a very high quality documentary. Bowling for Columbine is an excellent film that people in America truly have to watch. Moore points out some sad but very prevalent truths in this film, and there is a lot to be learned from it.
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