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Bowling for Columbine - Reviewed.

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Introduction

William J.H. Boetcker once said that 'it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, so as to retain your self-respect, rather than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong'. Michael Moore, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine chooses to do what he sees as the right move, at the risk of upsetting a nation. Through the use of humour and irony, Moore delves into different aspects of the violence that is deeply embedded in the American society. Released in 2002, in the United States of America, Moore uses this documentary to awaken a 'sleeping' society to the harsh realities around them. He uses the massacre at the Columbine High School that occurred in 1999 as his premise to investigate the phenomenon i.e.: 'why does the US have such a high number (11,127 for a year) of gun-related deaths?'. Though Moore seems to be very opinionated on various matters, his goal is not to make the audience think the way he does, but only to make them think. The movie is successful in fulfilling its purpose. This is hugely due to the excellent direction. The content, on the other hand, though extremely hard-hitting is limited to Moore's outlook on matters. Though it does not seem to be his intention, he does not leave any scope for the audience to form an opinion of their own. However, he cannot be blamed for this, because after all, a movie is a director's form of expression. ...read more.

Middle

Yes, the number of gun-related deaths is much higher in the US when compared to other countries but that is not to say that they are non-existent. Fear is not an American concept nor is the American government the only government to play with the human sensibility. The US might definitely be an extreme case but who is to say that other nations will not move in the same direction. One may argue that there was only so much Moore could do- his intention was to expose the American reality and not to deal with global issues. However, by comparing the US to other nations, Moore makes it a universal issue. Since he displays Canada as a model country, Canada is the country I will address. Great, so Canada has only 165 gun-related deaths in a year when compared to the US's gigantic 11, 127. There is a huge difference. Could it just be because Canadians don't find a need to kill one another? Where 'politicians talk funny' (ha-ha! Good one Moore!) and everyone, no matter what race, culture or economic background, can benefit from the social welfare system, why would anyone want to kill anyone? Think about this, because really, the only difference between the Canadian society and the American society is essentially the government. Canadians are just as locked up in the prison of fear as Americans are. If the US had the Halloween incidents (where children were not allowed to go trick-or-treating because a razor blade was supposedly found in a treat) ...read more.

Conclusion

Another example is his use of the song 'What a wonderful world' by Joey Ramone. A song about the beauty of this world set to the images of devastation in this world really sets your mind and heart rolling. Much applause to Moore for his heart-felt inserts at times when humour was just too harsh to be used. All in all, Bowling for Columbine is a must-watch. Though you may not agree with everything Moore says (or even if you do) and no matter what you take from the movie, Moore makes one vital recommendation- we must all think for ourselves. Blindly believing in all information that is spun out for us is not the right way. Moore leaves us with one important question, i.e.: if Marilyn Manson or violent movies or poverty or anything that the media dishes out to us, are the reasons why the Columbine High School Massacre happened in the first place, wasn't bowling an equally plausible reason? Especially considering the fact that the boys who carried out the massacre had gone bowling right before they killed 14 people and injured many others. In reality, it is easier for the government to conveniently construct acceptable answers than to actually expose the truth. Michael Moore and Bowling for Columbine, sadly, make a lot of sense. Fortunately, both Michael Moore and Bowling for Columbine came out and aloud at the right time. Where people (yes, all of mankind and not only Americans) are too scared to question the authorities they believe in and where people prefer not to think about the stereotypes and prejudices they live with, it all comes back to the documentary- Bowling for Columbine. -1- ...read more.

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