Movie

BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE. 2002

Director: Michael Moore

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



I found it fascinating that so many hate-spewing one-star reviews were being thrown up with the same assessments echoed from right-wing radio hosts, without one specific about the film's content. The angry right so often alleged wild inaccuracies without one factual correction to give weight to their hate-spewing. It was pretty obvious the majority never actually saw it so could not speak of anything specific in the film; they've just reviewed it on "the loonies principle" as though eager to prove the anti-gun control people are dishonest at heart.

The film is not anti-gun. Michael Moore clearly likes guns himself & handles a rifle well. He shows that gun-loving Canadians (a country where gun ownership is as high as in the USA) somehow lack the American will to murder each other with guns, so Moore would seem to agree "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," in particular, American people kill American people -- with guns. But there doesn't seem to be anything inherent to gun ownership that causes it, or Canadians would be just as bad.

Moore only asks why. It is a commentary on gun violence, which is nightmarish in this country. Moore seems to indict the violence-obsessed evening news for American paranoia & firearm bloodletting, a theory as silly as blaming Dungeons & Dragons, but a definitive answer to the question isn't easy, & Moore doesn't find an explanation.

The film is funny, well-made, & thought provoking; even if one's politics are far, far, far to the right of Moore's, an honest viewer who actually bothered to watch it would have to rate it one of the finer documentaries ever made, a documentary that doesn't try to force anyone to agree with its perspectives but does ask everyone to look honestly at gun violence in America.

Oh, & for the animation fans, there's a "history of guns in America" cartoon plopped in the middle of this documentary that is a hoot. A bit of urban folklore or rumor remains in the air that it was made by Trey Parker & Matt Stone of Southpark fame. Michael did interview Matt (who grew up where the Columbine school shootings occurred), then inserted the cartoon right after that interview, creating confusion as to who made the cartoon, which Trey & Matt believe was an intentional deception & spoke ill of Michael afterward. Too bad their paranoia so overcame them that their sense of humor lapsed, as on the offend-o-meter Trey & Matt's genius is way out there ahead of Michael's, & Michael's film very clearly credits Ryan Sias as the animator. I hope Trey & Matt have in the meantime gotten over their retardo snit, as it made them look just so Mr. Hanky.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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