Bowling for Columbine
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There are many techniques that you can use to show in a documentary, facts about people, places and events and “Bowling for Columbine” is a documentary that shows all of those plus more.

Michael Moore has got a unique way of using all the techniques that you would see in a documentary to get his story and opinion across to the viewers. Usually in documentaries the producers are behind the camera and in the editing room but what makes Michael Moore’s documentaries different is that he puts himself, his charisma and his questions in front of the camera. Many of his documentaries have been criticized and have caused major controversy within the media because he dares to ask the hard questions and dares to go where no other documentary has gone before.

The documentary is heavily producer dominated. All throughout the program you see him manipulating things behind the scenes and he is the dominant narrator. There are scenes where action domination comes into play like when he used his camcorder in Kmart and the footage is all over the place but the tactic was very strategic and he had a reason for doing it like that.

It’s his persistence and confidence when interviewing people and asking questions that people might find interesting to watch. Interviewing is another important technique he uses a lot and depends on a lot to get his points across. He interviewed a lot of people from Charlton Heston, the president of NRA, to Marilyn Manson. He interviewed Charlton Heston to ask questions like how is it that him and NRA always happen to be at a place straight after a gun related murder like the massacre at Columbine high school or the time the 6 year old got killed by another child. He made it look like he was on Mr. Heston’s side to make him more open about these issues but then he slowly made the transition into asking him questions that he Mr. Heston got bothered by until he walked away. Michael Moore just kept pushing and asked for an apology from him to all those people in the towns he visited straight after a gun related murder.

The documentary wasn’t just about looking at the murders of those kids at the school or any other specific gun related murder but actually looking at the bigger picture and the bigger issue that people are just not seeing. His was asking the questions like why is it that America has the highest rate of gun related murders in the world, why is it so easy to acquire a gun. The conclusion he gave us was that Americans live in fear and they think to overcome that fear and to have that comfort factor inside their homes or on the streets of America they need to have a gun in their possession. He was trying to show how America’s attitude towards guns is much different to anywhere else. They feel like it’s their right and responsibly to own a gun in order to feel safe. He interviewed Marilyn Manson because parents and experts were blaming him for the violence being committed in schools and by a younger age group. The theory was that his music is giving youth a violent message. The experts also had other answers to the questions being raised about youth violence such as Video games, TV, heavy metal music are apparently all a factor in this. He interviewed a wide range of people, from people that used to go to the school to the possible suspects on the bomb threat list and police officers.

You could sense a lot of sarcasm in his documentary. It’s another effective technique used. It’s the music he used while showing some disturbing images of people dying or protest marches and wars. During a small section about 9-11 he used music “what a wonderful world”. That is sarcasm. He did that a couple of times during the program.

He asked the questions “ Why is America so violent”. He showed old footage of wars and a security tape from inside the school during the shooting. Another tactic of his was showing home videos of him when he was a child while he was talking about how young children are introduced to guns, even if they are toys, at a really young age. He also showed footage of the September 11th bombings and of the Kosovo war and also

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S Documentaries And Michael Moore. (June 7, 2021). Retrieved from