Bowling For Columbine DVD
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Directed by Michael Moore
Produced in 2002
Main Language - ENGLISH
Countries & Regions - American film
Michael Moore's brilliantly observed documentary is an insight into the American love affair with the gun. From the defence of their homes in the media's climate of fear to the constitutional right to bear arms.
Moore takes us on a journey into America in a search for answers to such tragedies as the school shootings and gun crime in general. In one particularly shocking sequence we learn of a child in Moore's home town a six year old who shot and killed a class mate.
In viewing the film it is possible to see America as that child, nervously wielding it's power and aiming at the rest of the world.
Despite the title the film is not soley focussing on the killings at Columbine high school but a refreshing look at the state of a nation which allows the majority of it's population ownership of firearms and then looks to mass media and popular culture to portion blame. Moore interviews the people who have been blamed for the corruption of American youth, and typically it's people like Marylin Manson who make the most intelligent comments in the film.
Simultaneously thought provoking and entertaining there are some truly amazing moments in the film, Moore taking a wheel chair bound victim of the Columbine shooting back to K-Mart to return the bullets lodged in his spine is a chilling and bold statement. A must see, especially in the current political climate, this film should be on school syllabuses the world over.
A head-shaking, jaw-dropping but also very funny look at America's obsession with gun ownership, characterised by Moore's desire to delve a little further than most into some uncomfortable but very necessary questions.
Length: 114 mins
Aspect ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cat No: MP235D
Format: DVD Colour
Subtitles: English HoH
by Anon on 7th May 2003
This fine documentary starts with director/interviewer Michael Moore asking a bank clerk why her bank hands out a free gun with every new account , and it concludes wi... Read on
This fine documentary starts with director/interviewer Michael Moore asking a bank clerk why her bank hands out a free gun with every new account , and it concludes with genuine insights into the present all-American malaise of which this is a symptom.
The title is a metaphor. The two boys who killed 12 fellow students at Columbine High School practiced bowling in the morning before going on to commit their crime in the afternoon. Likewise the film implies that the American obsession with ownership of guns as playthings will lead to an increasing number of tragedies along the lines of both Columbine and Flint . Given the strength of the National Rifle Association gun lobby, the implication is that there is little anyone can do about it.
Moore focuses on the NRA’s president, Charlton Heston as he arrives after each school tragedy to blithely assure the faithful that all is well. His reassurances are intercut with the gloomy prognostications of parents who have lost their children, and the ironic conclusion comes in a superb confrontation between Heston and Moore (himself, incidentally, a lifelong NRA member.)
Billy Wilder said that while a director may spell out two plus two, he should leave his audience to draw its own conclusion. Moore does this while asking important questions –for instance, why does Canada, with the same number of guns as the States, have an average of fewer than 100 shootings a year compared with the 11,000 odd in the Union? The lax gun laws in the States, its tendency to bomb foreign countries if it disapproves of their regimes (witness Iraq); its media’s obsession with reporting violent crimes,and its tendency to demonise Afro-Americans - all can be cited by way of explanation.
As the hysteria over the threat from terrorists –real and imagined –increases, so Americans are rushing to buy more and more guns and ammunition. At the same time we note the ongoing erosion of civil rights and individual freedoms.
Does the root of the crisis lie in America’s crucial failure to connect between killing innocent civilians abroad and at home ? Or is it more mundane – in the right of all Americans under the constitution not merely to possess firearms but use them in defence of their families? Or did FDR get it right when he warned, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself ”?
This superb documentary surprises and astonishes as it presents its evidence, whilst firmly leaving us to draw our own conclusions. Its casual, relaxed style and humour can be misleading. It is not to be missed.