Bowling For Columbine (2002)

(In theaters, October 2002) There’s a lot to say about America’s fascination with guns, deaths and violence, and it’s probably for that reason that Michael Moore’s documentary film clocks in at nearly two hours. But don’t worry, because you won’t feel bored at any point: Moore runs from comedy to tragedy in such a way that you can’t help but be impressed even as you realize how he’s manipulating you. We warned, though, that this isn’t as much filmed journalism as much as it’s filmed editorial. Some parts don’t really work, but there’s so much great stuff elsewhere that it doesn’t really matter. As a Canadian, I supposed that I’m having an easier time seeing the absurdity of the American condition… indeed, watching Bowling For Columbine does at time feel like a big love-you letter to Canada. (It helps that Canadian money co-financed the film) Moore comes up with surprising conclusions about violence in America, but there are times where we’d wish for more analysis (or, at least a deeper exploration) rather than some of the showier stunts he pulls. His commentary on the culture of fear is fascinating, though, and the ways he uses in which to make his point are quite effective. Don’t be surprised if you come out of this film liking Marilyn Manson more than Charlton Heston. The real tragedy of Bowling For Columbine, though, is that despite every viewer telling others how good, how insightful and how entertaining it is, people simply won’t bother to see it. In 2002, more people will forget about trash like Austin Powers 3 than people will see Bowling For Columbine. And yet, in 2052, guess which film will be most remembered? If there’s still a United States of America by then, that is…

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