Analysis of realism in film “Bowling for Columbine” Essay
Many people may say that the film “Bowling for Columbine” by “Michael Moore” told them many things that they didn’t know about America today. If you were to watch the film without looking at it closely this would be true. But going underneath the narrative it reveals that there is insufficient evidence in most cases during the film to make it a fact. Many people feel that a documentary is supposed to be a factual piece of media but how can we believe that? As soon as “Bowling for Columbine” begins we are shown several clips of ordinary life in America.
A woman in sexy clothing holding a machine gun and then statue of liberty shown straight afterwards are some of them which is Michael Moore saying to the audience “This is America”. But is it? Do all women have machine guns? Not necessarily. Scenes like this happen a lot in the film and also contain voice overs which is Michael Moore speaking. This can make you believe what he is saying. Some have sound affects such as when Michael Moore is describing how many deaths there are in certain countries compared with America.
The sound effect is an effect of a gun shot which makes the clip more realistic and painful. Also in the clips he gives no reference to where or who he has got the evidence to make the claims from. “Moore” basically uses sound and images to manipulate whatever he is showing. He doesn’t even have to say a word and already bad things go through the audiences mind. Poor realism is also shown while Michael Moore interviews people in the film. In most interviews he made the people look stupid and asked them stupid questions from which he knew he was going to get a stupid response.
For example, when he described the dog having photos taken with a machine gun on its back and then the machine gun falling off the dog, causing a shot to be made and killing the man taking the photograph, he interviewed a policeman who described the incident and asked him the question “Can the dog be charged with the offence” which would obviously create a stupid answer as dogs cannot be charged. He then goes on to ask him what the dog looked like and the policeman described the dog as being “cute”.
Also while he was at the shooting ground interviewing “Guardian Angel” type people he makes them seem stupid by asking them what type of gun they have at there house and asked them about there social background. He also showed difference in social status as he was standing away from the men while they were firing bullets lying down. Moore was standing up and also wearing different clothes which represents that “Moore” has a higher status than the men firing bullets even though he used to do it while he was young anyway.
Moore” interviews people about the Columbine High School tragedy who were expelled for different reason. Why didn’t he interview someone who didn’t get expelled and passed there exams well. The truth is it wouldn’t be a good story and shows to interview two men who were expelled from the school shows the school in a bad way and that there were a lot of people like the two kids who committed the crimes around the area. In basically all of the interviews which “Moore” has shown in the film with people most of the questions he asks are not shown so you only hear the responses to them.
So basically we don’t know what “Moore” has asked them. He may have said something to annoy the person or he may have before asked the person several questions which build up to him or her coming out with a stupid remark. “Moore” only does not show in the film stupid remarks from the one person who the audience would expect a lot from and that is “Marilyn Manson” but the only reason why this is, is because “Moore” actually agrees with what “Manson” is saying so there is nothing to criticize him with.
Also no editing is made in the interview and all the questions “Moore” asks are heard. Negative effects are shown on policemen when they show the scene were something has happened in a town with high level violence on the streets. Policeman have closed a road as they a trying to catch a man on the loose and “Moore” goes up to a policeman and is more worried about not being able to see the “Hollywood” sign as the pollution is affecting air cleanness.
The policeman does not respond but in a situation like that whatever the policeman does whether he gives a response to the question or not still makes him look stupid. The scene where “Moore” interviews a man who was in connection to the Oklahoma Bombing shows the man in his house with pills and piles or files on his work top which leads you on to the question should this farmer have lots of files and is he a bit crazy as he has so many, what looks like medication bottles on his kitchen worktop?
It shows him in a bad way and the worst part is when he shows “Moore” his gun and apparently loads the gun and puts it too his head. The cameras do not show this but you can only hear “Moore” saying “Don’t do that” and then “Moore” describes what him putting the gun to his head. There is also more evidence that the film is not as realistic as first thought because the film comes out of context a lot as the film was supposed to be about the Columbine tragedy and its link with bowling but it spends 15 minutes on that and the rest on other issues in Americas society today.
The part where “Moore” tells the audience the number of deaths in several countries in comparison to America is an example of “Moore” not telling the audience where he got the information from. There are no references in the film to where his research has come from apart from the interviews which are also quite false. “Moore” shows children in an emotive way as he describes many men and women being shot and the audience do not really feel anything but as soon as he describes children being killed the audience feels some sort of sympathy for the children.
There are areas of Juxtaposition in the film as he describes the conflict between the head of the Guns Society “Charlton Hesston” and the father of one of the children who was killed by a gun in the Columbine tragedy. In many ways “Bowling for Columbine” is a good documentary if watched without looking into it. But after you look under the top layer of the film, you find that a lot of the interviews and things “Moore” says are not actually factual which really Documentaries are supposed to be and can put thoughts into the audiences head as to what really can we believe in today’s society.