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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:

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:

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

Contrary to reports in the news media, Columbine High School is not located within the city of Littleton, Colorado. Littleton is actually the mailing address of the school, not its actual address, which is four miles west of the Littleton city limits in unincorporated Jefferson County (still the suburbs), and is part of Jefferson County Public Schools, not Littleton Public Schools. 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: Ten days after the Columbine killing, Charlton Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening, archive footage is presented that claims the movie is presented by the National Rifle Association (NRA). 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

Features Roger & Me (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Wonderful World
(1967)
Written by Bob Thiele (as Robert Thiele) and George David Weiss (as George Weiss)
Performed by Louis Armstrong
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What's wrong with America?
8 January 2003 | by saxman429See all my reviews

Bowling for Columbine is perhaps the most honest and truthful documentary I have seen in a longe time. Michael Moore manages to debunk the myth that Americans are a righteous people. He does this by pointing to numerous references in American history where the government has overthrown regimes in favor of dictators and other militant groups. At the heart of his argument, however, is gun control. Moore poses the question: Why does Canada have a much lower death rate due to gun violence than the United States when Canadians seem to have the same obsession with guns? Moore points out that roughly 12000 deaths occur in America as opposed to the few hundred in Canada.

To answer this question, Moore goes to Canada, where he talks to ordinary citizens. As one student remarks, Americans seem to want to fight over everything instead of talk things out. Perhaps, as Moore suggests, there is something wrong with the very framework our country is built upon.

An interview with Charleton Heston, the President of the NRA, is shocking. What he answers to Moore's proposed question will astonish many.

Overall, it is satisfying that rational and clear-headed individuals such as Moore still exist.


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