I met Dave on the bus on the way into town, which was convenient since we were supposed to meet in town anyways, and we went to see Bowling For Columbine. Powerfull stuff indeed. Entertaining, yet very thought provoking. Of course there are bits that critics are gonna poke huge holes in: the bit about nobody locking their doors in Toronto, it must be a localised thing because we always locked the door to the Manhole when I stayed there; and that bit at the end, cutting between Michael Moore holding a printout photo of a young girl shot dead at school and a frail-looking Charlton Heston walking away, head bowed, not even glancing back, well that seemed a bit too contrived (and most likely concocted in post-production). There was also a distinct lack of a real focus. Moore didn’t seem to have a single agenda, at least on the surface.
But there’s the rub, surely. It’s not meant to be taken at face value, at least I felt that way as I watched it and became engrossed in it. As the film progressed, it seemed as if Moore himself was searching, through complicated means, for a way to answer the question as to why such tragedies as what happened in Littleton, Colorado keep happening today. If the film could have one single question to answer, for me it seemed to be this one: what makes America so different from everywhere else in the world? For one example from the film: everyone in Windsor, Ontario seems to own a gun of some fashion, but apparently the only recorded murder there in the three years preceeding filming was committed by a native of Detroit, just arcoss the river, with a gun from Minnesota. That’s part of an important contrast for Moore, that between the US and Canada, Canada being like a socio-political utopia compared to the tyranny of fear in America.
Fear, ingrained into the American social consciousness, seems to be the only explanation that Moore can give us. Is it really as simple as that? Scarily enough, it might just be.
I’m gonna think a lot more about what I’ve seen. I’ve been mulling it over all day, so much so that I kinda forgot to do some of the other stuff I was supposed to do, like pay my credit card bill. Don’t call what I’ve just written above a review as such. One would really have to watch it for oneself to glean from it even the fraction that I’ve discussed here.