“Bowling for Columbine” is a shocking road trip across America, uncovering stories of a gun crazed culture.
Michael Moore’s new documentary film breaks into the wild world of firearm abuse in the United States. Using humor and tragedy, Moore takes a look at how Americans weave violence into the very fabric of society.
“Bowling for Columbine” tries to unravel the mystery behind gun ownership and control. The film poses several questions, the central one however, is why so many Americans die from guns every year-far more than in any other country.
“I don’t need to make a film that says guns are bad, we already know that guns are bad, we have a gun control problem,” said Moore.
The film begins in the Midwest, at a bank that advertises customers receive a gun when they open a new account.
“I can’t believe you can get a gun at a bank,” said Moore. Another case of firearms abuse takes place in middle America where police dress a dog like an officer complete with a firearm. Consequently, the gun falls off the dog and accidentally shoots a man in his leg.
Moore, in his efforts to remind Americans about the gun control problem, goes to Columbine, the high school in Littleton, Colo. where students opened fire killing 12 fellow classmates in April 1999. He opens this scene with footage of students running for cover under tables and the two boys parading around with trigger happy fingers.
Two survivors from Columbine accompany Moore to the K-Mart headquarters to “give back the bullets that are still lodged in their bodies;” the bullets used at Columbine were purchased at K-Mart by the two boys who shot them that day.
The grand finale is the interview with Charleston Heston, the spokesperson for the National Rifle Association. Heston mistakenly welcomes Moore, who acts ardent and proud to be a lifetime member of the NRA, into his Los Angeles mansion. Surprised and annoyed by Moore’s interrogation, Heston’s remarks on gun abuse being caused by America’s “mixed ethnicity,” make this film an undeniable shocker.
Consequently, the NRA is seeking to revoke Moore’s membership. “People are very mad at me,” said Moore.
Moore is best known for his documentary “Roger & Me,” which is the highest-grossing narrative documentary of all time. The film portrays the negative effects of General Motors Inc. downsizing in Moore’s hometown of Flint, Mich.
“Bowling for Columbine” is the first documentary accepted into competition at Cannes Film Festival in 46 years; the film won a special 55th Anniversary Prize there.
Moore said he dropped out of college because he couldn’t find a parking spot one day, nevertheless he has gone on to voice his dissent toward or against major American issues like corporate malfeasance, racism, violence and firearms abuse.
“For some lucky stupid reason, I get to make movies and I get them distributed by Hollywood studios,” said Moore.
Moore wants his viewers to help him come up with the answers to the questions left open in his films. “People need to feel angry,” said Moore. “I am not doing this to listen to myself talk, I want to see change in my lifetime.”