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Bowling for Columbine
Directed by: Michael Moore
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: documentary
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something: darkly comic, serious, true?!?
The critic says: ½/ 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: ½/5 

Plot synopsis Look at the statistics on the number of Americans that die from guns each year (we're talking over 11,000 — compare that to Japan's less than 50, despite the fact that its population is nearly half that of the U.S.), and it's undeniable: America has a huge problem with gun violence. And Michael Moore — filmmaker, rabble-rouser, activist, and lifelong member of the NRA — wants to know why. Using the Columbine tragedy as a springboard for examination, and taking a close look at his own gun-loving homestate, Michigan, Moore probes deeply into the hows and whys of the link between guns and violence in America, exploring the potential social, cultural, economic, historical and political reasons that might explain why gun homicide is so much more prevalent in this country than in developed countries in the rest of the world.

Review Michael Moore makes me uncomfortable. He's such a walking faux pas. He's gleefully inappropriate, embarrassingly loud, vociferously opinionated in a way that's often less than respectful of differing opinions, and appears to have no qualms whatsoever about manipulating unsuspecting others in order to make a point (admittedly, his targets are frequently scumbags who deserve to be shot down to size). And for all those reasons except, occasionally, the last, I love Michael Moore. The guy just makes me proud to be an American, because here's one person, at least, who's using his freedom of speech in a way that really challenges everyone to question why things are the way they are, and to think about what we can do to change them. Bowling for Columbine is a brilliant, brilliant movie that poses an important, fascinating question — why are such a vast number of Americans killed by guns each year? The movie takes us on a (frequently fiercely funny) journey along with Moore as he explores all the myriad reasons people generally give (violent movies, video games, Marilyn Manson, our nation's cowboy past, easy accessibility to guns), as well as a few not-so-popular possibilities as well (our own nation's apparent eagerness to drop bombs rather than negotiate peacefully, a culture that relies on fear to fuel consumerism). Moore offers no easy answers or clear solutions, but approaches the problem from such a huge array of intriguing, plausible angles that it's nothing short of dazzling to watch him flit about manically, attempting to reach some sort of conclusion. Objective documentary film this isn't — like the mass media he criticizes, Moore chooses which facts to present, and which to ignore — but Bowling for Columbine offers a big, heaping, twelve-course feast of food for thought. —reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun

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