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Bowling For Columbine [DVD] [2002]

Price: £2.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 1 May 2013
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089ATL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,384 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Political activist/antagonist, Michael Moore (also author of 'Stupid White Men') takes a 'bemused and bitter' look at the gun laws in the US. The title springs from two fatal shootings in the town of Columbine: the first and most notorious being the mass shooting of pupils at Columbine High by two of its pupils in 1999; and the second being another fatal shooting two years later at the bowling alley of the town (which the two students had attended before they went on their killing spree in 1999). Hence the title. Moore confronts supermarket chains, the media and even pro-gun lobbyist and actor Charlton Heston (as President of the National Rifle Association).


An Oscar-winning documentary based around a 1999 massacre at an American High School in Colorado, Bowling for Columbine is filmmaker Michael Moore's take on the culture of firearms violence that is, apparently, peculiar to the USA. Significantly, this is no detective investigation into the psychology and motives of the two students who randomly opened fire on their classmates, killing 12 of them--Moore regards such particulars as practically irrelevant--rather, it's an attempt to counter the moral panic and right-wing diagnoses that followed the massacre, with the likes of rock star Marilyn Manson blamed by some.

Using a mixture of roving interviews, statistics, historical documentary footage, cartoon animation and the set-ups familiar to fans of his TV Nation series, Moore teases out appalling truths about gun proliferation in America. He's able to obtain a rifle by opening a bank account and shows that the bullets used in the Columbine massacre were still available at KMart--until he confronts their management with victims of the shootings. But it's not just gun proliferation that's the problem. Canada, Moore discovers, is similarly rife with firearms yet has a far lower murder rate. The problem with the US, Moore believes, is an irrational climate of fear that has driven the country to reactionary extremes since the days of the pioneers, persuading citizens that they need to be armed to the teeth.

In a film short on lowlights, the highlight is Moore's confrontation with NRA President Charlton Heston. Moore's deceptively genial, shambling, regular American dude appearance (as well as his NRA membership) wins Heston's confidence and Moore teases from the actor an inadvertently racist slip of the tongue, before turning up the heat, at which point Heston terminates the interview. In this moment, the sort of anger Moore demonstrated at the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony surfaces briefly as he brandishes a picture of a gunshot victim to the retreating Heston. Funny, shrewd, righteous, hard to deny, Bowling for Columbine is uncomfortable and irresistible filmmaking. --David Stubbs

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Pip Farquharson on 17 May 2003
Format: DVD
Posing the question 'are we a nation of gun nuts or just plain nuts?', Bowling for Columbine takes a polemic pot-shot at American gun culture and the media that supports – and perpetuates – it.
Revered by the little people, feared by the corporates and getting right up Charlton Heston's gun barrel, America's favourite whistle blower Michael Moore has armed himself with his own secret weapon – humour - to create this engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking documentary. Starting point is the harrowing 1999 Columbine High School massacre – in which 13 students were murdered. Before the two fellow students responsible carried out their killing spree, they had gone bowling...
The opening scenes sees Moore, sporting his trademark baseball cap, casually open an account in a US bank which offers 'more bang for your buck!' (those who open an account there receive a free rifle in return). Moore's first question on obtaining his new firearm: 'Um... do you think it's a little dangerous handing out guns in a bank?'.
The documentary goes on to explore America's trigger-happy society – a country in which around 11,000 people die annually as a result of gun violence – throwing up some chilling stories along the way: the murder of a six-year-old girl by a six-year-old boy; Columbine High School survivors still embedded with bullets bought over the counter at K-Mart; and the town of Virgin, Utah, that has passed a law requiring all residents to own guns...
Moore also aims his camera at Charlton Heston in the Oscar-winning actor's high-profile role as president of the NRA (National Rifle Association).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brandon L. Harlow on 6 Jun 2003
Format: DVD
I highly recommend this film. Extremely relevant to what is happening to the United States and the rise of violence, racism, bigotry in the wake of the theft of the 2000 election.
Michael Moore has the guts to stand up to the Republican/Corporate controlled media. Of course he has been villified by such hypocrites as Joe (dead intern found in his office) Scarborough, Ann (liberals should be shot) Coulter, and Lucianne (giving oral pleasure to Nixon) Goldberg, but they cannot refute the facts. Their only defense for Bush and gun nuts is that Michael Moore is "fat" and "ugly" therefore he has no credibility. Honey, if that were true Rush Lardbaugh would have been laughed off the airwaves years ago.
Moore goes to great lengths to expose the fascination with firearms including a bank that hands out free guns for opening a checking account, a look inside Littleton and a rare interview with Charleton (I sold my soul to the NRA) Heston.
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78 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Mr. W. Hardy VINE VOICE on 4 Mar 2003
Format: DVD
Having seen this at the cinema, twice, I can understand why this documentary won it's award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002.
The focus is primarily about gun ownership, and some history of gun laws, in the USA. Columbine High School is used as one of the illustrative examples of how and why the current legislation is not a good thing.
Some coverage is provided about the culture surrounding gun ownership, and the culture of fear that seems prevelant in american media over recent years. As a regular viewer of american news services (thank-you digital tv :-), I can attest to the accuracy of this coverage in comparison to that provided in europe. Michael Moore provides his own comparison - to media coverage of events in Canada. Also, some interesting insights from Marilyn Manson (who rose considerably in my estimation), which seem especially relevant as we sit on the cusp of Gulf War 2.
Something which was clear to me from Moore's attempts to speak to someone senior in K-Mart, was that without making a fuss, and turning up without an attending media circus, no-one seemed particularly interested in listening to him and the students he was with. It seemed that only when revenue was potentially affected by bad press, was anyone prepared to take any form of action at all.
The closing interview with Charlton Heston, and indeed some of his actions as president of the NRA, leaves one wondering how people of this ilk can sleep at night. Perhaps it's the loaded weapon under the pillow that does it for them, which I find as disturbing as some of the other images presented liberally throughout the documentary.
I speculate that there are those in the USA who will not take well to this.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "steven_reid69" on 25 July 2003
Format: DVD
This is one of the best documentary's I have ever seen. From the small victory of getting K-Mart to stop selling all ammo, to the disgraceful antics of Charlton Heston who turned up for two huge pro-gun ralley's, just days after the Columbine shootings and after a six year old brought a gun into school and killed a classmate. It is no coincidence that the National Rifle Accociation(NRA) was founded the very month that the KKK was deemed to be a terrorist organisation. Moore finds that American society thinks that the inner citys are awash with gun violence and young black men are the ones doing it. A DA points out, "We have never had a problem with guns in the inner city, most of the guns are taken from young whith guys in the suburbs". And with the like of the Michigen Millitia, a bunch of machine gun totting maniacs, some of who plotted and carried out the Oaklahoma bombing and the minority NRA who have far too much influence in goverment policy about guns, you really wonder how the situation can get better. Banning machine guns and other automatic weapons would be a start. But Canada has as many guns per head, but only has a fraction of the gun murders. Last year America had over 11,000 gun murders. Canada had less than 100. Moore find that Americans fear of crime is WAY out of proportion and now people shoot first and ask questions later. In Canada people don't lock their doors. Even in the biggest cities. The average American has Loads of locks. A Canadian guy says Americans see it as locking other people out, while in Canada it is seen as locking yourself in!!! And one thing is for sure. A society with this much fear should not have a lot of guns and ammo lying around.Read more ›
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