Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The United States of America is notorious for its astronomical number of people killed by firearms for a developed nation without a civil war. With his signature sense of angry humor, activist filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to explore the roots of this bloodshed. In doing so, he learns that the conventional answers of easy availability of guns, violent national history, violent entertainment and even poverty are inadequate to explain this violence when other cultures share those same factors without the equivalent carnage. In order to arrive at a possible explanation, Michael Moore takes on a deeper examination of America's culture of fear, bigotry and violence in a nation with widespread gun ownership. Furthermore, he seeks to investigate and confront the powerful elite political and corporate interests fanning this culture for their own unscrupulous gain. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
In May 2002 this film became the first documentary to compete in the Cannes Film Festival's main competition in 46 years. See more »
During the sequence about potential causes of violence, Moore mentions that most violent video games are made in Japan. It shows a clip from the Mortal Kombat series. This series, while containing some Asian themes, is actually the product of Chicago-based Midway games. See more »
In the credits, there is a thank you to Mike's Militia - Athens Branch. This does not exist - Michael Moore, during his speaking engagement at Ohio University, to promote his book, "Stupid White Men," screened two versions of the "History of gun control" animated segment, which featured the same animation but different narration. The audience was asked to vote on which of the two versions should be included. After choosing a version, Moore claimed he would include Athens, Ohio and the audience in the credits, but wasn't sure what name to give credit to. Several suggestions were shouted out and Mike Michigan Militia, Athens, OH branch was finally chosen. See more »
This movie was entertaining and interesting, but in certain ways it left me wanting. Michael Moore himself is somewhat irritating, and I found myself wishing he kept more to the background than he does. At the same time, the conclusions that he draws are compelling and pragmatic. This movie was not designed to be an argument. It was not designed to sway the viewer. It was designed to fuel the fire of the already convinced. Though I think that this is Moore's intent (concluded from interviews I've read), I feel that goal could be reached at the same time as convincing a few fence-sitters, and that would have made the film more powerful.
I have two main complaints regarding this movie:
First, I felt that Michael Moore sometimes crossed lines in his interviews that in no way seemed to further his cause or drive his point home. He interviews people as though looking for his answer, not their answer, and particularly seemed to be trying to strike a blow at the conservative masses. I thought this distracted the genuinity and plausibility of the conclusions that he drew. It must be said that the conclusions that Moore drew are of a nature that strikes at conservative politics. However, I felt that the facts he represented spoke for themselves, and that the blows should not have been dealt to conservative interviewees by asking questions designed to get emotional responses out of them.
Second, I found some of the statistics needed to be qualified with per capitas or percentages. When comparing the United States to England, for instance, it is important to take population differences and density into consideration. Straight statistics do not apply. I think the statistics were somewhat skewed by this oversight, however according to some rough guesstimates I made, it wouldn't have diminished Moore's point, only made it less dramatic (which would, indeed, have strengthened his case).
These two complaints hint at an even larger problem, however, and that is this: Because Moore presents his case in this way, he can never hope to have his message truly heard by anyone who isn't already on his side.
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