Michael Moore’s new film, “Bowling for Columbine,” is being billed as a documentary about gun violence in America. It is, and it isn’t.
The film, which opens today in Los Angeles and New York, will be familiar, at least stylistically, to anyone who has seen his previous films or TV shows, "TV Nation" and “The Awful Truth.” Moore plays the bumbling crusader, rattling the corporate overlords and comforting the downtrodden. This time the subject is guns, or at least “guns” is where Moore starts. “Bowling for Columbine” is about much more than firearms. As Moore says, “It’s a film about fear.” It’s the story of a nation built on fear, and addicted to aggression. The film is his best yet, and his most important [Full disclosure: friends of mine worked on the film].
Moore, an NRA member himself, uses the Columbine shootings as the backdrop from which to delve deep into America’s history of violence. The result is a powerful mix of unnerving humor and heart-wrenching tragedy. Along the way we meet Marilyn Manson, Charlton Heston, Columbine survivors and the creepy brother of Terry Nichols, the convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator.