Sunday, 9 January 2005

Bowling for Columbine (2002) - ickleReview (DVD)

Michael Moore's most assured documentary, about gun control (or the lack of) in America, in the wake of the Columbine High School shootings of 20 April 1999. He investigates why it is that the gun-related homicide rate is so high in the States compared to the rest of the world, discovering that it is perhaps caused by the culture of fear that is perpetuated by the government and the mass media. (See Donnie Darko for a parallel theme of Love versus Fear.)

Moore's film, three years in the making, and which won him an Oscar, demonstrates that activism can bring results. When he visits Wal-Mart headquarters with two of the victims of the Columbine shootings to show them the bullet wounds caused by merchandise bought at Wal-Mart stores, the PR department gets back to them the next day and announces that they will be withdrawing all lines of firearms ammunition withing 90 days. Moore goes on to visit Charlton Heston, the figurehead of the pro-gun National Rifle Association, at his home in Beverly Hills to confront him on why his organisation held rallies just days after the shootings in Littleton, Colorado and Flint, Michigan (Moore's home town, where a six-year-old kid was shot dead by a classmate in Buell Elementary School). The resulting interview will leave you flabbergasted.

Nugget: Moore at his very best: finding humour in such a troubling subject. Canada and its people come out of this very well: even the juvenile deliquents who skip school in order to hang out at their local Taco Bell are charming.

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