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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:

What a wonderful world. 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

In May 2002 this film became the first documentary to compete in the Cannes Film Festival's main competition in 46 years. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Michael Moore: What if I had a spear?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no cast list, either at the start of the film or at the end. People are credited either by subtitle, by the narrator or by themselves. 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 »


Soundtracks

The Nobodies
(2000)
Written by John 5 (as John Lowery) and Marilyn Manson (as Brian Warner)
Performed by Kurt Engfehr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the most thought provoking movies.
7 May 2003 | by emma502See all my reviews

What has become of the United States? Is there any difference from the United States that was formed by Puritans and tried to escape from persecution under the British flag? Has there always been a different mentality for the American than that of any other nationality of individual? After September 11th Michael Moore the director and writer set out to make a documentary that addressed these and other embedded questions that are addressed everyday in our news media, school systems, homes, stores and street corners. Attempting to address all sides of the issues as a person of the media Moore used not only his own experiences, his connection to the NRA, but also other persons opinions that ranged from Charlton Hesston, the well known president of the NRA and famous actor, to the average American that was confronted with the violent acts that resulted from the accessibility of fire arms. This documentary took a new approach to the display of information. Not only was animation used to explain history, American's imbedded fear of their own neighbors, but it also used rock music ( gave a beat or a pulse to the film that progress from slow to fast as the intensity of the issues progressed), sarcasm, interviews, and casual conversations. Moore traveled the country to talk to all those that make up the spectrum of the American society, he traveled to the scenes of some of the more recent American tragedies, made impromptu stops in corporations such as Kmart (where the boys from Columbine bought the ammunition used in the shooting), and traveled to Canada to get an outside or foreign opinion. The idea was to move away from the documentary style of `talking heads'; he wanted a film that would not only touch a chord with the American people but one that would also be readily watched. This idea also made the documentary, that there was too much influence placed on the `words of the professional' or the ` findings of the expert'; that these findings and misleadings flooded the news at night to increase the amount of fear that the average American has as it looked for a scape-goat to blame. The information that Moor presented in his documentary did not technically follow a pre-described narrative, but followed more of a form where the audience was left areas to think and to breakdown the information. Elements of the circular narrative were the foundation of the film, where similar elements in opinions and the common American we continually addressed. Yet, the only problem that could be addressed is one of the ways in which Moore collected some of his data. Some might see a use of trickery or manipulation was used on his part to get the responses and such passion-filled opinions stated. While others would see the same information in the light that no instigation was needed, that people have these strong beliefs, opinions and are willing to talk about them but they lack the examples or understanding of the topic to take a well informed stand on one side or the other. Such a problem is not new in the world of documentaries when controversial data is presented to the public. Moore did a great job of presenting a delicate subject to the American people and was deserving of the Academy Award for the project.


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