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Bowling For Columbine Essay

693 words - 3 pages


From the Oscar award winning director, Michael Moore brings us a very thought provoking film that questions the very foundations of American society. ‘Bowling for Columbine’ is a film directed, written and produced by Michael Moore. Through his trademark comedic style and his informal tone his quest takes into the Columbine massacre, Oklahoma bombing and other acts of gun violence. And he asks the ultimate question: What is the cause of America’s gun violence?

No matter what your opinion is Michael Moore looks at both sides of the story.
On one hand he shows the innocence of the militia. And the American peoples belief that owning a gun is their right and their duty.
But more prominently he looks at the dark side of guns.
The Oklahoma bombings, Columbine High School massacre, are just some of the stories that take him around the country.

‘Bowling for Columbine has received much controversy, to the extent where ...view middle of the document...

Moore’s main aims are to provide an insight into the causes and reasons of the Columbine High School massacre.

Are violent movies to blame for gun violence? No. as Moore points out. Canada’s youth also anticipate the next Hollywood bloodbath. What about video games are they to blame? No. as Moore points out. Japan has the largest video game market in the world yet they have one of the lowest gun related death rates.

Michael Moore’s intention is takes a completely bias view on the topic. He purposely aims to crush common beliefs and assumptions by putting his own twist to a story. Take the 6 yr old girl murder for example. Moore points the blame at something irreverent to the subject, which is the welfare-to-work program without addressing the issues of gun safety and control. We can also look at the sequence where upon opening a bank account he almost instantly gets free gun. Which is ridiculous as guns would not be given out that easily and in actual fact would take weeks to do so.

One of Moore’s most notable techniques is the use of irony. This is most effective in the “What a wonderful world” sequence. In this sequence, the song ‘Wonderful World” is played as the atrocities that American foreign policy has taken part in appear. This of course is ironic because it is not a wonderful world filled with joy and love as the song suggests but it is a world filled with death and violence.

This artistic and somewhat unbelievable portrayal of the ‘dark side’ of guns paints powerful message for the viewer to ponder on, what about an America without guns?

Technical Features

The success for this movie lies mainly in the clever editing that deceives the audience. The movie only shows what it wants us to see and disguises the facts that would destroy the overall message Michael Moore is conveying. But there are also other technical factors that contribute to the overall message. This includes, interviews, file footage, voiceovers, live action footage and so on.


There is no doubt that ‘Bowling for Columbine’ is a provocative movie that stirs up the American beliefs through somewhat fictional portrayals of stories giving us unease about where American society is headed.

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