FMP: Research – Bowling for Columbine
Bowling for Columbine
‘”Bowling for Columbine” is an alternately humorous and horrifying film about the United States. It is a film about the state of the Union, about the violent soul of America. Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence? The talking heads yelling from every TV camera blame everything from Satan to video games. But are we that much different from many other countries? What sets us apart? How have we become both the master and victim of such enormous amounts of violence? This is not a film about gun control. It is a film about the fearful heart and soul of the United States, and the 280 million Americans lucky enough to have the right to a constitutionally protected Uzi.’
It is one of the top ten highest-grossing documentaries and also won an Academy Award for Documentary Feature.
This extraordinary documentary has a really strong and clear message about the fear that is built into Americans and the reason why they have guns under the second amendment law. The narration was particularly spectacular as it was Michael Moore himself, and not only did he just narrate, he was in front of the camera communicating with others. This shows real engagement with the issue and subject matter at hand as to the audience he appears just as a normal human being like anyone else and not a pretentious filmmaker, this allows audiences to relate. With this in mind, he represents the audience more so with the blunt questions he asks, as they are the type of questions we would want to ask but would never out of perhaps fear, which is ironic to film.
The images in the film are strong enough speak for themselves giving shocking visual aid to either the narration or the facts that appear on screen. These are ironically matched with happy songs and light hearted tunes which brings out the satire of the film, which is clearly the fact that Americans are so afraid and the media have been so scaremongering that everybody turns to hide behind guns.
The whole film is somewhat entertaining yet shocking and this is all achieved by the use of irony in images and music choice, the satirical feel that ridicules Americans for being so fearful, and most of all by Michael Moore himself who has a clear view on the matter and wants to find the answers just as much as anyone else.
When making my film I have to make sure I keep in mind why I am making it as this will help tailor my questions and the film overall, I also need to use strong images that are bold and striking to engage the audience as well as using shocking and true audio.