Reviewed by Nev Pierce Updated 13 November Funny, chilling and provocative, "Bowling for Columbine" is a documentary that works as a hugely entertaining movie, as well as a double-barreled blast at American gun culture and the media. It starts with tubby, bear-faced American satirist Michael Moore opening a bank account and receiving a rifle as a free gift. Unbelievable, but not the only shocking element in this powerful exploration of violence in the USA. Moore's inquiries into why America is such a violent society are sparked by the Columbine massacre - the high school shooting in which 13 people were killed by two malcontent teens who then took their own lives.
Share via Email At the height of the Beltway sniper terror in Washington, there was no serious call for gun control. But the DC police advised citizens to walk in brisk zig-zags. The problem is that each screening is liable to be a liberal rally where the converted get well and truly preached to.
Yet gun control does not appear to be precisely what Moore is calling for. Moore incidentally neglects to give the murder-rate as a percentage of the population.
The kids who shot up Columbine high school went bowling at 6am on the terrible day, so is bowling perhaps the problem? Bafflingly, this heavy-handed sarcasm might equally be deployed by the rightwing firearms apologists whom Moore clearly loathes.
So the making of this documentary was clearly a journey of discovery for Moore himself, who makes no bones about not having the answers. Refreshing, but exasperating too. This is a very big, brawling mix of ideas and interviews, with wacky clips, spoofs and pastiches, some devastatingly funny and pertinent, some of them pretty lame.
Moore begins with an extraordinary interview with a Michigan bank which gives rifles to all new customers; he wonders aloud if a bank really wants a whole lot of people with guns around.
He takes in an interview with the survivalist militia weirdos, and a very scary guy with swivelling eyes who was acquitted, by a whisker, of the Oklahoma City bombing. He shows horrifying CCTV footage of the Columbine massacre, and talks to survivors of that and other grotesque tragedies over which Americans helplessly shrug.
Moore scrambles around the film like a big shaggy dog, jumping up and knocking things over, excitably putting together all sorts of possible connections. The handgun psychologically equivalent to the B? I will say this, though: The seismic events of September 11 presumably happened in the middle of the production schedule, inspiring Moore to open up his focus very wide to global, geo-political questions, when he might have been better off concentrating on the domestic American scene: But Moore tactlessly raises the element of race, though with a different perspective from Heston.
This is a remarkable film in its way.This movie makes me feel that it is the first time i just remotely understand the American society. Michael Moore explores the darkest side of America - the society built on fear.
Bowling for Columbine enters the Criterion Collection (the first Michael Moore film to do so) as spine #, under license from MGM. The disc comes packaged in one of Criterion's clear keepcases.
The disc comes packaged in one of Criterion's clear keepcases. The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, , at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County (Jeffco), Colorado, United States, near Littleton in the Denver metropolitan area.
The perpetrators, twelfth grade students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and one teacher. Internet Movie Database - GO-huge movie database, photo galleries & movie news. CineMedia - GO-comprehensive film & media directory with over 25, links.
Guardian Unlimited Film - GO-film news, awards updates, new releases, reviews & cyber cinema. Funny, chilling and provocative, "Bowling for Columbine" is a documentary that works as a hugely entertaining movie, as well as a double-barreled blast at American gun culture and the media.
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