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Bowling for Columbine (2002)

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Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence.

Director:

Michael Moore

Writer:

Michael Moore
Won 1 Oscar. Another 40 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Moore ... Himself - Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Salvador Allende ... Himself - President of Chile (archive footage)
Jacobo Arbenz Jacobo Arbenz ... Himself - President of Guatemala (archive footage)
Mike Bradley Mike Bradley ... Himself - Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Arthur A. Busch Arthur A. Busch ... Himself - County Prosecutor: Flint, Michigan (as Arthur Busch)
George Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael Caldwell Michael Caldwell ... Himself - Police Detective
Richard Castaldo Richard Castaldo ... Himself - Columbine Victim
Dick Clark ... Himself
Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage)
Steve Davis Steve Davis ... Himself - Deputy Sheriff (archive footage)
Ngo Dinh Diem ... Himself - President of South Vietnam (archive footage)
Mike Epstein Mike Epstein ... Himself - Shopper in Mall
Joe Farmer Joe Farmer ... Himself - Superintendent of Schools (archive footage)
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What a wonderful world. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akiryhtos polemos See more »

Filming Locations:

Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$209,148, 13 October 2002

Gross USA:

$21,576,018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,011,975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2003 this became the first documentary to be nominated for and win a WGA Award for its screenplay. See more »

Goofs

The "Brief History of America" segment includes the assertion that early Americans burned suspected witches. No accused witches were burned in America. See more »

Quotes

Michael Moore: [as Charlton Heston is walking away from Moore] Mr. Heston? Just one more thing.
[Heston turns around]
Michael Moore: This is who she is - or was.
Michael Moore: [Moore holds up a picture of Kayla Holland] This is her.
[Heston ignores Moore and continues to walk away]
Michael Moore: Mr. Heston, please don't leave. Mr. Heston, please take a look at her. This is the girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening, archive footage is presented that claims the movie is presented by the National Rifle Association (NRA). See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release, a caption was inserted into a 1988 Bush-Quayle ad, "Revolving Doors," which read "Willie Horton released. Then kills again." In the DVD release, the caption reads "Willie Horton released. Then rapes a woman." Neither version makes it clear that the text was not part of the original ad. See more »

Connections

Features The Omega Man (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Bandstand Boogie
(1954)
Music by Charles Albertine, Larry Elgart, Les Elgart, and Bob Horn (1954)
Lyrics by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman (1978)
Performed by Barry Manilow
Courtesy of Arista Records
Under license from BMG Special Projects
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A liberal's critique
2 August 2004 | by illusoryjaneSee all my reviews

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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