Bowling For Columbine * Michael Moore * 2002

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I had wanted this documentary since it came out (that long ago?), but apparently not enough to see it before it came on TV… Of course you all know about this documentary. Moore wanted to make a critical documentary showing why the USA have such a high number of killings caused by weapons. He hung the documentary on the Columbine Highschool shootout where the killers played a few rounds of bowling before their gruesome act. Also the killing of a six-year-old girl by a boy of the same age is dealt with at length. Moore wondered why in the USA so many people get killed while other countries such as the UK or Germany have an equally violent past (which is one argument in the USA) and a country like Canada which has just as many guns in comparison to the number of inhabitents (which is a big point for the anti-guns campaign). Moore’s conclusion is that it is the government and the media who (try to) keep people scared. Indeed, the one-sidedness of American news is horrid, but Moore goes a bit in the same direction. Whereas in the USA most media are very right/conservative, Moore tends to be a little bit too leftish in his vision and he shows this a bit too clearly at times. Still I think this documentary surely had to make American citizens think about things and maybe things may change a bit some times. As for us Europeans, we get an idea of the States that we already had, but too far driven through and not completely accurate in my opinion. This documentary is -I think- meant for the American market.
Filmographically then: a nice documentary with some rather sick / over the top films, some humour (like from South Park) and a few things that you even wouldn’t see or hear on the news here. Good to see some time, but I think when somebody made something similar about our own countries, it would possibly be (almost) just as shocking. Another point is that Moore, almost by himself, brought back the genre of documentaries back to the cinemas, which is something to respect as well.

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