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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

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

Director:

Michael Moore

Writer:

Michael Moore
Won 1 Oscar. Another 40 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Una pelicula de Michael Moore el Hombre que desafió a BUSH See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akiryhtos polemos See more »

Filming Locations:

Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$209,148, 13 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,244,913, 11 May 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,564,473, 31 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of George Price's 20 Favourite Movies, in which Bowling for Columbine (2002) was tied with Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) and Three Miles North of Molkom (2010). See more »

Goofs

The cashiers at K-Mart are not trained nor are they required by company policy to check the identification and credentials of each customer that buys ammunition. This is because they have stores worldwide and the laws for selling ammunition are different per state, and can change on an annual basis. See more »

Quotes

Michael Moore: How many people are killed by guns each year? In Germany; 381. In France; 255. In Canada; 165. In the United Kingdom; 68. In Australia; 65. In Japan; 39. In the United States; 11,127.
Father of Columbine victim: But that, to me, brings up an important question; then what is so different about Americans? Are we homicidal in nature? Because in Europe and Australia... Most other free-world countries they don't have this. They don't have people who snap and go on murderous rampages.
Michael Moore: Well no, they're just like us. I mean, they...
[...]
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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Pressing the Public Opinion (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (Choral), Opus 125
(1826) (uncredited)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Excerpts from Movement 4: "Presto - Ode to Joy" in the score starting at the bowling alley sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Political but important
26 July 2012 | by KnightsofNi11See all my reviews

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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