Sunday, July 11, 2004

Bowling for Columbine

I recently watched Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. So many thoughts stormed in my tiny head after watching the documentary. Bowling for Columbine talks about USA's gun culture and subsequently reflects on the fear psychosis which has gripped the nation. I thought it was a well made documentary. More on it later...

Bowling for Columbine starts with the basic premise of Columbine school bombings. For those unaware about the shootout at the high school in Columbine, here it goes....

On April 20, 1999, in the small, suburban town of Littleton, Colorado, two high-school seniors, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, enacted an all-out assault on Columbine High School during the middle of the school day which resulted into the killing of 12 students and a teacher. Later they shot themselves. Read more.... This incident shocked the nation and also the world coz never in the wildest dreams did anyone think that children in a school would be a target of gunmen who were children themselves.

Ok....The documentary starts with the Columbine school shootout. Moore delves into the issue in detail. He shows how everybody in Littleton possessed guns apparently for self defense and how arms were so easily accessible. Some of the scenes are heart wrenching. For example, he shows the scenes where the school librarian calls up a TV Show crying out in anguish narrating the shootouts and screaming for help. The juxtaposition of such scenes is remarkable. But I was disappointed that Moore does not go deep into the psyche of the 2 accused viz. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. He speaks to some of their classmates who describe them as "WEIRDOES, INTROVERTS" etc.. But the fact is that both of them maintained personal diaries. It has not been explored at all. One could have got a fabulous insight of the minds of the teens who committed such a heinous crime. Moreover even their families feature nowhere in picture.

I thought Moore wasn't objective at all throughout the whole movie but well, he took a stand at least. The scene where the then president Clinton announces about the bombings in Kosovo with such a firm demeanour and his change of tone as he hears about the Columbine school shootout is amazingly put. I mean it was an awesome display of the hypocrisy. Their attitude of Hamara khoon khoon, doosron ka khoon so aptly shown. I loved Moore for that. I like the way he fearlessly takes stands.

Moore showed how the USA society is such an insecure society. Media also was responsible to a large extent. He showed how media plays an important role in cashing in on the inherent fear of the American public. It was interesting to note when Moore says that during a particular year (I don't remember now)how the crime rate in USA actually fell but well media thought totally otherwise and if one were to go by the USA media, USA was the unsafest place in the whole world. Moore showed how TV news cameraman waited for an encounter, a police chase everyday at a particular place but well weren't bothered about the rising pollution in LA coz of which even the HOLLYWOOD banner wasn't visible at all. It simply wasn't of any news material. He also talks about the shows like COPS etc and the generalisation In the USA media where every criminal was a black man.

In order to show something was really wrong with the USA society Moore goes to Canada to show how safe a society it is inspite of an easy access of arms and ammunition. There are more guns per household in Canada than in the United States, yet the death toll, even when adjusted to consider the unequal populations, is much lower. He shows as to how Canadians don't keep their doors closed at all and how safe they still feel. To emphasises this point Moore barges into people's houses to show how the doors arenÂ’t closed at all. But how do I believe him? It could have easily been pre arranged before the shoot. There's an obvious loophole.

He also delves into the issue of a 6yr-old killing his classmate. It was a horrific piece of news. But well, we don't get to know what happens to the boy at all. Its really weird coz both the times, the perpetrators of the shootouts have not been covered at all. I mean there is always a question mark hanging in there. It is shown that immediately after the shootout Charles Heston, the chairperson of National Rifles Association (NRA) has a public meeting in Littleton asserting the fundamental right to own a gun to safeguard our lives thereby completely ignoring the protests of the local public and the media. Michael Moore grills Charles Heston in an interview in the movie so much so that Heston walks out mid way even without answering the questions. The interview was a tad dramatic and I felt Moore did go overboard. Moore condemns the role of NRA throughout but it is really ironic that he also is a very member of NRA.

This documentary touches upon several issues. Columbine school shootout, Gun culture in America, fear psychosis, Role of American media, Canadian society, National rifles Association, Okhlahoma Bombings, Role of USA in the bombings of other countries etc. etc. But well the audience doesnÂ’t get lost and well....the point is well conveyed. This documentary makes more sense now especially in wake of the stringent and may I add stooped security measures adopted by the USA government. This is just one of the articles which reflect the growing paranoia. I like it when Brazil openly challenges USA and starts finger printing USA citizens visiting the country. TIT FOR TAT. Really cool! I sometimes just wonder what all measures should India resort to especially after being the victim of several terrorists' attacks. But well different rules apply to USA and the rest of the world, don't they?

People who haven't yet seen the documentary, do see it. Makes a very good viewing despite the loopholes. I am now desperately waiting for Fahrenheit 9/11 to release in India.

1 comment:

Shobha said...

I, Me and Media!

BlogBack Closing 13th October 2005.

talkin of documentaries watch Faenheit 9/11….thts like da baap of all documnetaries these days…and columbine is like a pretty old one….and of indian ones c da ones related to ayodhya or godhra…ull b amazed how gud india is:)…anyways there r plenty gud ones:)

2004-07-11 07:14

and guess me was the first one:d

2004-07-11 07:14

people have become so paranoid. there is no such thing as security..when will people realise that? and kids shooting…their innocence has been taken away by exposing them to so much human violence.

2004-07-11 09:27

abheeeeee amma…….y u put up such a bouncer post……hav mercy on our poor souls….:)

2004-07-11 13:39

well..thnk bush for all tht…he is there for us:).

2004-07-11 14:44

Michael Moore shuld definitely be appreciated for bring totally different perspectives to light.

I saw "Farenheit 9/11" yesterday. It just blew me away….the amount of research Moore has done and the kind of footage he has obtained and edited is simply mind-blowing. The documentary is absolutely anti-Bush and for the right reasons. ALthough there is a lot of exagerration in a few parts of the doc….its based on facts and documentation. It has just re-inforced the fact that Bush and his band of jokers think of war only as a business….showed the type of flimsy and injustifiable reasons (NOT WMD's) why they went to war….and how they got into the mess they find themselves in right now.
Do watch it when u get a chance.

2004-07-11 17:14

Want to watch Farenheit 9/11..though I think it's gonna reaffirm what we already know about Simpson land..and Homer Simpson Bush…actually I think Homer would be insulted at the comparison..Duh! Am looking forward to Shrek2 more, at least it will have adorable ogres instead on ugly idiots like Mr Prez….!!!

2004-07-11 19:52

Sush: Yoho! U first, you first ! :P We are planning to watch lots of documentaries in my college. yea, godhra and farenheit do figure in the list :D How u doing Sush?

Reiya: Precisely gurl! I dont think the dumbfuck Bush is gonna realise that.try telling him that!

Russel: Hahahahahahhahahahhahaa! :P Arrey kabhi kabhi dimaag ka exercise kar deti hoon main, agli post tp hogi :D

Ashwin: U DID? U WATCHED FARENHIET 9/11? Me all jealous now, Even I wanna watch watch watch! The best thing about this documentaries is that it is factually CORRECT! I mean no one can point a damn finger at him…:D

Deeps: Hiyaa deeps! SHREK….awwwwwwwwww… adorable! Me too not seen re till now! :(

2004-07-12 01:02
Kiruba Shankar:

I personally hate Bush, mainly because of the war….which is why I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 . I wonder when its going to be released in India ?!

2004-07-12 04:14

yea, i shall surely watch it!
i am too waiting for F 9/11 to be released.

2004-07-12 06:51

i lack the insight to comment. so i'll say hi!

2004-07-12 09:20

[kiruba] if you're from mumbai, take a little walk in fort :P you'll get whatever you want

[shobz] do you really think Bush runs the country? He's way too dumb. He's just a front. The real power lies elsewhere

[sush] GAAAAAAAAH! Why does everybody copy me? I started the "me first" thing. I started the blog family thing. hrrmph!

2004-07-12 09:50

@dee…well ya…normally wudnt do tht me first but geuss saw tht in lotsa places…and blog family…wats tht…??…anyways patent these things first before ur loset somewhere,,,:D

2004-07-12 10:45

my prof wants us to watch bowling for columbine too. this semester neways. (check it out, its actually an elective tht allows me to watch movies and documentaries… BUHAHAHA…)

2004-07-12 13:42

I havent seen Fahrenheit 9/11 as yet.. nor I have seen Bowling for Columbine, lets see when I get a chance to see either of them.

2004-07-12 14:50

hey this documentary seem to be very good one…well will surely see god the pyscho of these americans is all one is clear abt values and stuff.bush should be thrown of in space!

2004-07-12 16:26

Kiruba: Hieeee! Me too wondering when it wud be released.

Gans: YO!

Dee: If u lack insight to comment, pray tell me, y u be replying to various comments here? puzzled

Anju: Have fun babes! :P

Akshay: i wud recommend u to see both!

Harini: Make sure u see it re! nice it is :)

2004-07-12 17:41

Shobhs, answer this question. How come the comments for the previous posts have all disappeared?
Thanx for reminding me and making me very cautious, suspicious and apprehensive of every person whom I will be meeting. The state which I am going is especially notorious for its gun laws.
That guy has also started his own blog site, chk it out @ http://www.michae…
Discrepancies apart, I suppose he has just depicted the true story of what has happened, and what is happening. Gun laws in USA are pretty pathetic. They are easily available across the counter in many states. That alone will be responsible for more deaths than caused by litening strikes in that country.
Media is pathetic, everywhere. Their main aim there is to make more money and just become more popular, regardless of the indirect damage caused by them. That is true here too. Ur previous post on MEdiaNet itslef is a good egsample.
And I did hear that Fahrenheit 9/11 is too good a movie.. Gotta watch it….

2004-07-12 18:18

Sat: thanks for the blog link Sat! :)

2004-07-12 20:56

you answered the question already. "i lack insight to comment." doesn't mean i can't comment on comments :P

2004-07-13 05:51

I am currenly working in Littleton where this incident took place. I hear stories from people out here… its is spine chillin. You can actually picture the whole incident. Had a chance to go to Columbine High School.

2004-07-14 22:34

Hi Shobha - I watched this on DVD last October - and I agree with your conclusion that this "docu-film" is worth watching. For what it's worth - I wrote a very brief review on this at the DVD rental site: http://www.lovefi…

2004-07-16 09:56

Dee: Kuch bhi…….

Gremlin: U working there? oi take care of urself….well, interesting! U shud blog abt it sometime! :)

Jag: Its a good one na…, me off to chk the link :D

2004-07-16 15:22


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