Being a teenager in the era of action-packed, drama-filled, and big celebrity-based movies I probably would not have ventured to see Bowling for Columbine. However, as soon as it popped up on the big screen I could not take my eyes away from it.
This documentary on guns and violence has emotional scenes that vary from being upbeat and humorous to solemn and depressing. You could be laughing and have popcorn fly out of your mouth one minute because some guy makes a ridiculous remark: "The pen is mightier than the sword, but you need a sword handy if the pen fails [because] there are wackos out there." The next minute you could be slouching in your chair in grief because you are watching exactly how the teenage shooters at Columbine High mapped out their routes by watching the school’s security tapes in different rooms. In 1999, the two students killed 13 people and then shot themselves at their school in suburban Denver.
Moore has done everything in his power to avoid being objective. Instead he expresses many of his views through interviews. Moore interviews National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston, asking him some tough questions and showing him a picture of a girl who died in a Michigan school shooting. Heston just walked away. He came off looking like an idiot. Although Heston did not answer Moore’s questions, the viewer got a sense of what he and his beliefs are all about.
Where did they get the bullets?
The filmmaker tackles the topic of guns from different angles. One involves two graduates of Columbine high school who were shot. He took the two survivors to the K-Mart headquarters, which is where the killers bought their ammunition. What they accomplished there was unbelievable, but I won’t give it away.
This movie asks why America loves and needs violence. Bowling for Columbine points out that there were more bombs dropped in Kosovo on the day of the Columbine shooting than any other day of the raid. It makes you wonder if maybe the U.S. government thought that Columbine would distract the American public from seeing what it was doing overseas.
Moore interviews Marilyn Manson, who was criticized because the boys who committed the horrific crime at Columbine listened to his music. Moore agreed with Manson that it was ridiculous that he was blamed for what happened. Manson stressed the fact that those kids were not the only people who listened to his music and other sources of media were to blame.
If you don’t like emotional or provocative movies, this film is not for you. But if you want to know what’s going on in your country, Bowling for Columbine will fulfill your desires.
Because of its unusual focus, Bowling for Columbine probably will not be widely released. My suggestion is to see this amazingly informative and inspirational documentary before it vanishes from the theaters.